Everson Griffen, Adrian Peterson Reunite With Vikings on Sunday
Both are teammates on Detroit Lions
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Defensive end Everson Griffen played his entire NFL career in Minnesota. That is until this season, when contract negations fell through with the Vikings and he instead signed with Dallas.
The Cowboys then traded Griffen to Detroit on October 30th, which set up his debut in a Lions uniform to come against Minnesota.
“It will be strange seeing him in a different uniform certainly, but I have so much respect for him as a player and as a person. He was a great teammate. I love the energy he brought to everyday. You know, OTA’s all the way through the season.”
Griffen was a standout on the defensive side of the ball with Minnesota. He started 147 games, recording 258 tackles, 74 and a half sacks and went to four pro-bowls as a Viking.
His final six years with the team he spent playing under head coach Mike Zimmer.
“Everson, he was a good player for us. I wish him well, just not this week.”
Griffen remembers his time Zimmer a little differently.
“I got a little frustrated when I read that comment, what Zimmer said about ‘oh, Everson was a good player.’ Coach Zimmer wasn’t just a good coach, he was a great coach to me so for him to call me a good player, you know, that kind of hurt my feelings.”
It is not that Griffen needed anymore motivation when it comes to going up against his former team, but he certainly found it in Zimmer’s comment.
“I miss guys. I miss Harrison (Smith). I miss Anthony (Harris). I miss EK (Eric Kendricks). I miss (Mike) Zimmer. So when Simmer said that about that, I’m a good player, alright, we’re going to see who is a good player on Sunday.”
In a less heated return, the Vikings also welcome home running back Adrian Peterson who spent the first ten years of his career in Minnesota.
The veteran back was a star, named All-pro four times and appeared in seven pro-bowls during that span.
13 years into his career, Peterson has taken on more of a backup role with the Lions, but former teammates remembers what a player like that brings.
“I am not shocked he is still going strong,” Smith said. I spent a lot of my years playing with him during my first few years mostly just in awe of him and how he played. He brought a lot of energy to us so I know he is bringing energy to them in how he runs.”
There will be a lot of emotions and stakes on the line in the divisional match-up. Minnesota sits just one game behind Detroit in the NFC North.