According to the Minnesota Vikings head coach, the Defensive Player of the Year candidate will be available for Sunday’s matchup against the Washington Redskins.
Everson Griffen has yet to practice this week for the Minnesota Vikings, but head coach Mike Zimmer said at his press conference today that Griffen will be on the field Sunday when the team takes on Washington.
The defensive end injured his foot on the final play of the Vikings’ Week 8 contest against the Cleveland Browns, but said after the game, “Everything’s good. I’m good.”
Griffen playing would obviously be huge for a Minnesota squad facing a tough test this weekend against the Washington Redskins.
Additionally, a healthy Griffen will be key as the team kicks off a potentially season-defining five game stretch. With five straight games against teams with a .500 record or better, the team can ill afford to lose a player of Griffen’s caliber for any period of time.
The eight-year veteran out of USC has had a career-year thus far in 2017, notching a sack in every game so far this season and 10 total. According to Pro Football Focus, Griffen also leads the NFL in pressures with 45 and has an overall grade of 89.4, which is ninth among edge defenders.
With Washington left tackle Trent Williams’ status in doubt for Sunday as well, Griffen has a very good chance to continue his dominant play against either backup swing tackle Ty Nsekhe or old friend T.J. Clemmings.
If Griffen for some reason can’t go or is limited (a possibility, considering there is a precedent for Zimmer being less than forthright with injuries to players), there’s a good chance that Danielle Hunter would move to the right side of the defensive line and Brian Robison would take over the left defensive end spot.
We’ll see if Griffen is able to get back onto the practice field on Friday. If he’s even limited, he’ll likely play on Sunday, which gives Minnesota the significant advantage of having a Defensive Player of the Year candidate going up against a backup tackle for the second straight game.