EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Husain Abdullah said he would one day return to the NFL when he and his brother, Hamza, both decided to put their football careers on hold to commit time to their Islamic faith.
The two brothers, both NFL defensive backs, sat out last season, a sabbatical that allowed them to go on pilgrimage to Mecca. Now, Husain is back in the league.
The Kansas City Chiefs signed Husain Abdullah on Monday, according to the team’s official website. Abdullah, 27, spent four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2008 out of Washington State.
Abdullah had finished a trying season with the Minnesota Vikings in 2011, forced to the sideline because of concussion symptoms that wouldn’t subside. He was cleared by the end of the season, but as a free agent, he decided against signing a new contract. He and his brother were both free agents at the time.
“I visited Makkah, Saudi Arabia in March and a strong sense of urgency overcame me to attend ‘Hajj’ in October,” Husain told the website profootballtalk.com last summer. “I love the game of football but, it would directly coincide with my pilgrimage. So, I’m taking some time off.”
Abdullah observed Ramadan each year while participating in training camp for Minnesota, a remarkable feat considering he would fast each year and was still active in the sometimes grueling camp conditions. He played mainly special teams his first two seasons before winning a starting safety job in 2010, starting 24 games over the next two seasons. He had 162 tackles, two sacks and four interceptions in his four years with the Vikings.
On Saturday, Abdullah tweeted a picture of a Kansas City contract with the message, “Unofficially official.”