Everson Griffen had an immediate role in his first game back with the Vikings on Sunday, playing more than 40 percent of Minnesota’s defensive snaps after a season spent with the Cowboys. He won’t have any role this coming Sunday, however, and a deer is at least partly to blame for the veteran pass rusher’s absence. The Vikings announced Friday that Griffen will be out for Week 2 against the Cardinals, with coach Mike Zimmer telling reporters Griffen is in concussion protocol after swerving and crashing his car while trying to avoid a deer on the way to the club’s Eagan practice facilities on Thursday.
It’s unclear exactly where the accident occurred or whether Griffen sustained other injuries as a result. The Vikings first listed the defensive end with a concussion on their official injury report Friday, with Griffen sitting out of practice. In the veteran’s absence, the team figures to rely more on Stephen Weatherly and Patrick Jones II as reserve pass rushers behind Danielle Hunter and D.J. Wonnum.
Griffen is not the only prominent player set to miss Sunday’s game, either. Minnesota also ruled out rookie left tackle Christian Darrisaw, linebacker Anthony Barr and cornerback Harrison Hand, with linebacker Eric Kendricks listed as questionable.
The Vikings kick off their Week 2 matchup with Arizona at 4:05 p.m. ET on Sunday.
It’s time for the Vikings to make their move in the NFC North. Can Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson get the job done?