March 28, 2016 / 6:27 PM / 3 years ago

Free agent safety Abdullah retires over concussion concerns

(Reuters) - Former Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings safety Husain Abdullah announced his retirement on Monday, citing the five concussions he incurred in his seven-year National Football League career.

Free agent Abdullah, 30, posted his decision to retire on his Instagram page and said health concerns were a primary factor.

“There are numerous deciding factors in my decision, with personal health being foremost,” wrote Abdullah, who missed the last five games of the 2015 season due to a concussion.

“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.”

Earlier this month, a top NFL health and safety official acknowledged for the first time a link between football-related concussions and the degenerative brain condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in testimony at a U.S. congressional hearing.

Abdullah signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2008 and played four seasons in Minnesota before signing with the Chiefs as a free agent in 2013 after missing the 2012 season to make a pilgrimage to Mecca as part of his Islamic faith.

In seven NFL seasons, he recorded 289 tackles in 97 games with six interceptions and two touchdowns.

“I would like to thank the Minnesota Vikings for giving me an opportunity to make the team after going undrafted in 2008,” Abdullah wrote.

“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.”

Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Steve Keating

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