Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen suffered a concussion when he was involved in a car accident Thursday morning when swerving to miss a deer en route to TCO Performance Center, coach Mike Zimmer said Friday.
Griffen was one of four Vikings ruled out of Sunday's game at Arizona, joining linebacker Anthony Barr (knee), left tackle Christian Darrisaw (groin) and special teamer Harrison Hand (hamstring).
Linebacker Eric Kendricks (quadriceps) was listed as questionable but should play, Zimmer said.
Griffen, who first missed practice Thursday, would have to clear the NFL's concussion protocol to return to the team.
According to a news release from the Minnetrista Public Safety Department, Griffen was involved in a single vehicle crash off County Road 44 there at 6:30 a.m. Thursday. Responding officers found him walking outside the vehicle, which Griffen said had swerved off the road to miss a deer and crashed into a tree. Griffen, who was alone, was treated for minor injuries by paramedics at the scene; his vehicle sustained front and side damage.
The defensive end, who re-signed with the Vikings last month and was expected to be a situational pass rusher, had one pressure and a near sack while playing 28 snaps in last week's loss at Cincinnati.
Griffen's absence will mean more snaps behind starter D.J. Wonnum for Stephen Weatherly, who has been praised by coaches this week. He had three tackles in only 17 snaps against the Bengals.
"Last week, I thought he played well," Zimmer said. "Played with physicality. I thought he did some good things."
Barr will be missing his 16th consecutive game. He suffered a torn pectoral muscle in Week 2 a year ago, but has recently been dealing with a lingering knee injury.
Typically, Barr would be assigned to spy a mobile quarterback such as Arizona's Kyler Murray. Asked what the Vikings will do this weekend, Zimmer said, "We'll have different people" do it.
Kendricks didn't appear on the injury report until Thursday. Asked if he suffered the injury in practice or if this was a problem from last week's game, Zimmer said, "No." Then he paused, chuckled and said, "He just got a tweak."
Zimmer has been using the word "tweak" as a punch line because of the grief he's taken the past year for using that term to describe the neck injury that eventually cost defensive end Danielle Hunter the entire 2020 season.
Turning serious, Zimmer said of Kendricks, "He's all right. We're just being cautious. I think he's going to be OK. It went pretty good today."
Linebacker Nick Vigil (ankle) also was on the injury report this week but will play Sunday.
Griffen's unusual injury was not the Vikings' only oddity Friday. The strong storms that swept through the area overnight knocked out the electricity throughout Eagan, including the Vikings' practice facility.
"We had meetings like the old school with chalkboards and white boards," Zimmer said. "We'll catch up on the film [Saturday] morning when we get back for meetings."
Asked if there were any backup generators at TCO, Zimmer said, "Basically, no. Had to take a shower in the dark. … You can't make it up. But, hey, we're survivors."