EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Vikings weren't sure if they could count on Everson Griffen after two spotty seasons, despite the potential he flashed as a pass rusher.
After two games as a nearly-every-down defensive end, Griffen's progress has been clarified. With personal growth through a tragic experience, some technique improvement and a recent chance for more playing time, Griffen has proven his worth and helped strengthen the Minnesota defense at a critical time.
"You've got to take full advantage of the opportunity, and that's all I did," Griffen said after practice Friday. "Just showing them that they can trust in me and that I'm accountable. When your number is called, you have to be ready to play and go in there and perform."
Brian Robison sprained his right shoulder early in the Dec. 16 victory at St. Louis, so Griffen was promoted from his nickel-package role to the base defense. He returned an interception for a touchdown, showing remarkable athleticism to...