Still grieving, Everson Griffen returns to Vikings: 'Mama, I love you'
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- His eyes down and voice cracking, Everson Griffen spoke briefly with reporters in the Minnesota Vikings locker room on Friday, two days after learning his mother, Sabrina Scott, had passed away while visiting him.
"Very, very hard for my family," Griffen said. "But my mama, she was a very strong person. She'd just want us to stay strong and keep on our path that we're going on. None of this is impossible without her. She's in a better place now.
"I just want to say, Mama, I love you. It's going to be a fight, but we've just got to keep fighting."
Griffen missed practice on Thursday but returned on Friday, saying he feels safer being around his teammates. Coach Leslie Frazier said Griffen is expected to travel with the team and play in Sunday's game at Washington.
"My mom, she would have wanted me to come back," Griffen said. "Becoming a man, I've got a family on the way, just got engaged, so it's not about me no more. It's about my family soon to be and my family I've got right now -- my brother, my dad, my stepdad -- just keeping them strong and keeping them going. That's why my mom made me so strong, to help the rest of the family out."
Griffen said Scott arrived for her visit on Sunday and attended the Vikings' win over Tennessee, in which he had a quarterback hit. Scott had been staying with him, Griffen said, but he declined to provide any details about what happened to her in a roughly 3-minute media session.
Eden Prairie police informed Griffen of Scott's death in Frazier's office on Wednesday. The Pioneer Press reported the Carver County medical examiner has performed an autopsy but cause of death was undetermined pending a toxicology report.
"Just shocking," Griffen said. "My mom was 100 percent healthy. We'll find out soon what the cause was.
"I know she's down watching over us right now. Whatever I can do on the field for her, she loved to watch me play. That's why I'm back here, to show her that I'm doing this for her and not just for her -- for me, too, to grow into the man that I'm becoming. Just working hard right now."
Asked what else he remembers about his mother, Griffen said, "Just her personality -- just like mine, outgoing. Everybody loved her. Just a great person to be around and just a wonderful lady, the best mom anybody could have. Cook, clean, iron your clothes, all of the above, she's doing it for you, and give it her last.
"I'm just happy to have a mom like that, and one day we'll meet again. She's in a better place right now and I know the Lord has her, because she was a great person and just keep on pushing along and supporting my family like I know how to do."
Teammates came to Griffen's house to offer condolences on Wednesday night. Before Friday's practice, receivers coach George Stewart was seen giving Griffen a long hug.
"Love and support and that always helps," Griffen said. "This is the only reason I'm here -- because I feel safe here. If I didn't feel safe, my mom, she would tell me. ...
"It's always good to have that security and knowing that other people got your back and loved and it kind of eases the pain a little bit. But it's still a tremendous and deep burning inside. You've just got to keep on the same path and keep moving on."