Detroit Lions’ new defender Everson Griffen sounds off on Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer’s ‘good player’ comment

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Everson Griffen, right, pursues Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt in the second half in Arlington, Texas, on Oct. 4. Griffen was traded to the Detroit Lions last week and will appear in his first game Sunday. (AP file photo)


AP Sports Writer

DETROIT — Everson Griffen’s debut with the Detroit Lions will come against a former team.

It’s fair to say he’s ready.

“I’m excited to be here,” Griffen said Thursday. “It’s going to be fun on Sunday. I’m going to come out and be a great player, and I’m going to come out and dominate, and I’m going to come out and do that. Because I’m just a good player, right? All right. All right.”

That last part of that comment was said with dripping sarcasm. Earlier this week, Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer said of Griffen: “Everson was a good player for us. I wish him well, just not this week.”

Griffen took exception to the “good player” part.

“Coach Zimmer just wasn’t a good coach — he was a great coach to me,” Griffen said. “So for him to call me a good player, that kind of hurts my feelings. So on Sunday, I’m really looking forward to playing the Vikings and showing them that I am a great player.”

Griffen showed his irritation throughout his video conference with reporters Thursday.

“I don’t ever talk bad about people, so for him to call me a good player, all right,” he said. “I got something for him on Sunday.”

Griffen played 10 seasons with the Vikings from 2010-19. He was with Dallas this season before the Lions acquired the defensive end in a trade last week with the Cowboys. Detroit plays at Minnesota this weekend.

Following the trade, Griffen wasn’t able to practice or play until this week because of COVID-19 protocols.

NOTES: Lions coach Matt Patricia wouldn’t discuss QB Matthew Stafford’s status for Sunday’s game. Stafford was put on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday. The list was created for players who either test positive or have been in close contact with an infected person. Stafford’s wife said on social media he tested negative.