EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — During the final minutes of the Minnesota Vikings‘ 33-16 win over the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 29, defensive end Everson Griffen suffered a foot injury that forced him to miss the Washington game two weeks later.
Griffen revealed Monday that he’s battling plantar fasciitis, a condition that triggers pain on the bottom of the heel and is caused by straining the ligament that supports the arch of the foot.
The injury hasn’t caused Griffen to slow down. He returned to action in Week 11 against the Rams and has registered three sacks total since the injury — two against Detroit and one against Carolina. He currently ranks third in the NFL with 13.0 sacks through the first 14 weeks of the season, which is a career high for the eighth-year defensive end.
“My foot is only getting better,” Griffen said. “My plantar fasciitis is going to heal after three weeks, I played after three weeks, so it heals over time. I’m just getting better.”
One key to bouncing back so quickly is the defensive end’s weekly rehabilitation routine, which appears to have the demands of a full-time job. Griffen uses a hyperbaric chamber, acupuncture, cryotherapy and massages to help his body recover from a game while preparing for the next week.
After the Vikings’ 31-24 loss to the Panthers, Griffen wasted little time in preparing his body for this week’s game against the Bengals. He says he started hyperbaric chamber treatments at 5:30 a.m. Monday, followed by cryotherapy and a workout at the Vikings’ training facility. After a dip in the hot tub and cold tub, Griffen had a four-hour massage. Later he’ll go back into the hyperbaric chamber before meeting with his movement coach this afternoon.
“I try to do everything possible to make sure I can recover faster and (to make) the possibility of injury go down a lot,” he said. “Kind of like bulletproofing.”
Griffen has played 93 percent of Minnesota’s defensive snaps in each of the last three games. With an increased workload, keeping up with the demands of his therapy are necessary for him to play at his best.
“It’s part of the game and they pay me big money to play big time,” he said.
“I’m a workhorse. I don’t feel worn down, I don’t feel beat down. I feel like I’m ready to go. I’ll be ready Sunday, even better.”