Griffen recorded 33 tackles, six sacks and four pass breakups over 14 games in 2020. Griffen played in seven games for Dallas before being traded to Detroit midseason. The 33-year-old provided a spark to a dormant Lions pass rush and ultimately put up respectable numbers in limited playing time. While Griffen is probably past the point in his career when he can be relied upon as an every-down starter, the former Viking at least showed he has something left in the tank this year despite his advanced age. Griffen will now enter the offseason as an unrestricted free agent who shouldn't be hurting for suitors when the new league year starts up in March.
The Lions activated Griffen from the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. Griffen missed the Week 14 loss to the Packers and this past Sunday's loss to Tennessee, but he'll be able to return against Tampa Bay on Saturday. The veteran defensive end has accumulated 30 tackles (15 solo) and five sacks over 12 combined games with Detroit and Dallas this season.
Griffen was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday. Griffen either tested positive for the virus or came into close contact with an infected person. He won't be available for Sunday's game against the Packers, and if he tested positive, he'll miss next week's game versus the Titans as well. Romeo Okwara, Da'Shawn Hand (groin) and Austin Bryant (thigh) will handle most of the reps at defensive end in Week 14.
The Lions acquired Griffen from the Cowboys on Tuesday in exchange for a conditional 2021 sixth-round draft pick, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Griffen had been one of the few quality performers on a struggling Dallas defense this season, logging 2.5 sacks and 20 tackles through seven games. Since Griffen was playing on an expiring deal and the Cowboys recently returned another defensive end in Randy Gregory from suspension, Dallas apparently viewed the 32-year-old as an expendable piece. The addition of Griffen should provide a much-needed boost to Detroit's pass rush, but he won't be eligible to make his Lions debut until Week 9 in Minnesota while he waits to clear COVID-19 intake testing protocols, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
Griffen posted five tackles (three solo) and a sack in Sunday's 25-3 loss to Washington. Griffen has yet to start a game this season, but he's handling a starter's workload, logging at least 50 percent of the defensive workload in six of seven contests. The veteran defensive end is now up to 20 tackles (10 solo), 2.5 sacks and a pass breakup this year, and he has a favorable Week 8 matchup against the Eagles on tap, as Carson Wentz has been sacked a league-high 28 times this year.
|* indicates player did not play that week|