Police sent to Griffen's home
The Minnesota Vikings said defensive end Everson Griffen emerged from his home without incident and was receiving care for his mental health after he called 911 fearing an intruder and spent most of Wednesday refusing to leave while law enforcement and team representatives tried to diffuse the situation. The Vikings sent psychologists to Griffen's house to work with police on guiding him through another alarming mental health situation. The team released a statement in the afternoon, about 12 hours after Griffen's initial 911 call, confirming they'd been notified by authorities that the situation "ended peacefully" with Griffen coming out. The Vikings cited the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, the Carver County Sheriff's Office, the Minnetrista Police Department and the Orono Police Department for their "quick response and dedication" to ensuring Griffen stayed safe. Griffen, who took a leave from the team in 2018 for mental health treatment, had posted on Instagram screenshots of middle-of-the-night text messages to his agent, Brian Murphy, that were pleas for help because he said people were trying to kill him. The Vikings said they sent representatives to Griffen's home along with the team's mental health professionals, who were coordinating with law enforcement in Minnetrista, the Minneapolis suburb where Griffen and his family live.
Ravens' QB expects to play
Lamar Jackson insists this is different than last week's false start. Jackson said Wednesday he's feeling better and fully expects to play Sunday night for the Baltimore Ravens against Cleveland. He was also at practice, three days after missing a victory at Chicago because of an illness. Jackson missed practice Wednesday and Thursday last week, then seemed OK when he practiced Friday and said he was feeling better. But he was added to the injury report Saturday and wasn't able to play in the game. Now Jackson says he thinks he's back to normal. Last week, Jackson said his illness may have been a cold, but that was before he took another turn for the worse and missed the game.
Rodgers playing with hurt toe
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers says his toe injury is a fracture and added that he doesn't expect the situation to cause him to miss any games. Rodgers has been playing with the toe injury each of the past two games after missing a 13-7 loss at Kansas City because of a positive covid-19 test. The reigning MVP said the injury occurred while working out at home during his quarantine. The NFC North-leading Packers (8-3) host the Los Angeles Rams (7-3) on Sunday and then have the next week off. Rodgers, who has said the injury involves his pinky toe, noted Wednesday there are surgical options that wouldn't involve him missing any games.
Liberty coach gets extension
Liberty and Coach Hugh Freeze have agreed to a contract extension that will keep him with the Flames through 2028. The school announced the extension Wednesday. A person familiar with the deal says Freeze will be paid an average of more than $4 million a year over the life of the contract. With the early signing period in December, Freeze -- who coached at Arkansas State in 2011 -- said it certainly makes the extension more pertinent. He said it takes him out of the conversations about other coaching openings and the potential that schools would target him.
Signing irks Mets' owner
New York Mets owner Steve Cohen criticized pitcher Steven Matz for reaching an agreement with the St. Louis Cardinals rather than New York. "I'm not happy this morning. I've never seen such unprofessional behavior exhibited by a player's agent. I guess words and promises don't matter," Cohen wrote Wednesday on Twitter. Matz and the Cardinals have agreed to a $44 million, four-year contract, a deal subject to a successful physical. "We handle things the right way and so does Steven," Rob Martin, the pitcher's agent, wrote in a text to The Associated Press. "He was very interested in the possibility of returning to the Mets but at the end of the day, it didn't quite happen. That's all." Matz, a 30-year-old left-hander who is from Long Island, pitched for the Mets from 2015-20 and was traded to Toronto last January. He went a career-best 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA in 29 starts for the Blue Jays, then became a free agent.
Reliever Wade Davis retires
Free agent pitcher Wade Davis, a three-time All-Star, is retiring after 13 major league seasons at age 36. His retirement was announced by his agency, Jet Sports, the Kansas City Royals said Wednesday. Davis played for the Royals in 2021 and helped Kansas City win the 2015 World Series title. Davis was 63-55 with a 3.94 ERA and 141 saves in 161 chances over 88 starts and 469 relief appearances for Tampa Bay (2009-12), Kansas City (2013-16, 2021), the Chicago Cubs (2017) and Colorado (2018-20). He was an All-Star from 2015-17. The right-hander was 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA and eight saves in the postseason, including 3-0 with a 0.36 ERA and four saves for the Royals in 2014 and '15.