By Mark Rosen

EAGAN, Minn. (WCCO) – The Minnesota Vikings start preparation for the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday, and they will have one of their top defensive players back.

The Vikings announced that Everson Griffen will resume team activities on Wednesday. Griffen stepped away from team activities late last month after a string of incidents that involved him acting erratically. He stepped away after concerns for his mental health and well-being.

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It is not clear if Griffen will play this Sunday, but fans and teammates are just happy he is doing better. Griffen’s return was announced by the Vikings Tuesday with a picture on social media. In a place usually reserved for the worst hot takes, fans showed nothing but love.

The outpouring of support is because Griffen’s story is about more than sports. He may be one of the best defensive players in the NFL, but fans at Joe Senser’s in Bloomington were thinking about his health first, and his impact on the team second.

everson griffen1 Vikings’ Everson Griffen Returning To Team Activities Wednesday

Everson Griffen (credit: CBS)

“He deserves a second chance if they can afford to give him the time to get whole again,” said a Vikings fan.

Griffen was hospitalized a month ago after causing a disturbance at a Minneapolis hotel, showing up unannounced at a teammate’s house, getting into a stranger’s pickup truck and jumping from an ambulance.

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman released this statement on Griffen on Tuesday:

We have been in communication with Everson’s medical professionals throughout this process and have relied on his recommendations regarding the appropriate next steps for Everson. We are excited to welcome Everson back to the Vikings and to see him around teammates, coaches, and staff – people who care deeply about his well-being. Our focus will continue to be on providing an on-going support system for Everson and his family.

Griffen released this statement Tuesday evening:

Being around my teammates and coaches is something I have missed for several weeks. While this is an exciting and positive move forward for me, it is only the next step in a longer process. I look forward to once again putting in the work with the guys and contributing to this team in any way I can. My larger focus remains on addressing my personal health, and I’m hopeful the time will come when I feel comfortable sharing my story and using my platform to bring awareness to these issues. I continue to be extremely grateful for the constant support from my family, my teammates, the Vikings organization and our tremendous fans.

Griffen is not only a very popular player in the Vikings locker room. He is a team leader, and those teammates are like family to him. It will give everyone a huge lift to see him back in uniform Wednesday, but more importantly for Griffen to take in all the love that will come his way.