Former Washington State safety Husain Abdullah retired from the NFL on Monday afternoon, citing his health as the deciding factor on why he hung up his cleats.
Abdullah announced his retirement through Instagram, explaining in his own words why he is finished with professional football.
After 7 years in the NFL, I am retiring. I would like to thank the Minnesota Vikings for giving me an opportunity to make the team after going undrafted in 2008. I experienced a great deal of growth both as a football player and as a person during my 4 years in Minnesota. Thank you. The Kansas City Chiefs will forever have a special place in my heart. After sitting out of football to fulfill my Hajj Pilgrimage in 2012, The Chiefs were the first to call. The three years I spent playing for KC may have been the most enjoyable football experience in my entire life. Thank you. There are numerous deciding factors in my decision, with personal health being foremost. Sitting for five weeks last year after suffering the fifth concussion of my career, I had a lot to contemplate. My goals moving forward are to be of benefit to my family, my community, my country and hopefully the world. Having a sound mind will be vital in accomplishing these goals. Thank you to everyone I've crossed paths with during my time as a player. You've had an impact on my life for the better. Thanks for the love and support. It's greatly appreciated. #chiefskingdom #Peace✌ ️
Abdullah followed his older brother Hamza to Pullman and played under Bill Doba from 2004-2007. A Pomona, Calif. native, Abdullah spent one season on special-teams before being named a starter during his sophomore season. Unlike his brother, Abdullah didn't play on any great Washington State teams; the Cougars never received a bowl game berth in his four seasons at WSU. However, Abdullah was still a bright spot on several mediocre teams, racking up 54 solo tackles and recording four interceptions, one of which that was taken back for a touchdown, during his senior season in 2007.
After going undrafted in 2008, Abdullah signed with the Minnesota Vikings and spent four seasons in Minneapolis. He won the starting strong safety position in 2010 and played in 15 games for Minnesota, recording 3 interceptions and 50 solo tackles. Abdullah shifted to free safety, his natural position, in 2011, but only played in nine games after being concussed.
Husain and Hamza both sat out the 2012 season to perform Hajj, an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. As a practicing Muslim, Abdullah was penalized by a referee during a Monday Night Football game in the 2014 season after celebrating a pick-six thrown by Tom Brady. After scoring, Abdullah slid to his knees and bowed in prayer, which resulted in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, creating controversy.The NFL admitted the next day that he shouldn't have gotten penalized for praying in the end zone.
During free agency in 2013, Abdullah signed with the Kansas City Chiefs where we would play for the rest of his career. He played every game in 2014, recording 58 solo tackles and returning an interception for a touchdown.
With all the news and research coming out on the correlation between playing football and CTE, it's no surprise why Abdullah retired at just the age of 30. He's suffered five concussions during his seven-year career and one more could have been catastrophic to his future quality of life.