Husain Ibn Muhammed Abdullah (born July 27, 1985) is a former American football free safety . He was signed by the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL) as an undrafted free agent in 2008 and also played for the Kansas City Chiefs . He retired from the NFL after seven seasons due to multiple concussions sustained during his career and concern for his future health. Abdullah played college football at Washington State . He is the younger brother of former NFL safety Hamza Abdullah .

High school

Abdullah attended Pomona High School [2] and was most well known for his athletics. In high school, Abdullah received many honorable awards as he represented his school football team as captain. Abdullah is a defensive back and also is a contributor to the special teams unit as a kick returner. During Abdullah's sophomore year, he was awarded the team's defensive MVP and was nominated as rookie of the year. During his junior year, Abdullah won the All-Inland Valley award and as a senior, Abdullah stood as the number 9 ranked safety in the west coast.

Professional career

Minnesota Vikings

Abdullah was an undrafted rookie who later signed with the Minnesota Vikings . He served as a backup from 2008 to 2009. Before the 2010 season he was named the starting strong safety . The competition in the offseason and preseason was thought to be between Tyrell Johnson and Jamarca Sanford , but Abdullah won the job. During the 2011 season, Abdullah became the starting free safety , but a concussion (his fourth in 15 months) ended his season.

Kansas City Chiefs

After he returned from a year off, Abdullah accepted a one-year contract offer from the Chiefs, and played in all 16 games (starting 2) of the 2013 season; he also started the Chiefs' playoff game against Indianapolis , making 2 interceptions in that game to tie a team playoff record.

An unrestricted free agent after the season, Abdullah re-signed with the Chiefs on March 12, 2014. During a Monday Night Football game on September 29, 2014 against the New England Patriots , Abdullah intercepted a pass, returning it for a touchdown. He was given a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for sliding on his knees, then bowing down and giving praise in Islamic salutation. [4] The next day, the NFL said the penalty was a misapplication of the relevant rule, and should not have been assessed. [5] The penalty created much controversy on social media, including beyond America. [7]


Abdullah retired from football on March 28, 2016, citing concern over the five concussions he had accumulated during his career. [8] He later explained the decision further in an essay submitted to The Players Tribune . [14]

Personal life

Abdullah is the son to Yusuf and Sa'eeda Johnwell. [9] He lived in a very large family, one of 12 children. As a practicing Muslim , Abdullah observes fasting in Ramadan —even during the football season. [11] He sat out the 2012–2013 season to make Hajj to Mecca with his brother Hamza Abdullah , who was also in the NFL. He is a member of the Alpha Lambda Mu fraternity, America's first and only Muslim fraternity.