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Updated: January 23rd, 2012 1:59pm
Cleared by specialists, Vikings' Husain Abdullah says he'll play again

Cleared by specialists, Vikings' Husain Abdullah says he'll play again

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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MOBILE, Ala. -- Husain Abdullah will continue his NFL career.

The fourth-year safety visited last week with two Pittsburgh-based concussion specialists who performed a variety of tests, gave him exercise and diet advice and left Abdullah confident he can return to the field.

"If I was going to make a big-time decision, I definitely wanted to go talk to them," Abdullah said by phone on Monday. "It was really educational and I did a couple tests and everything and they just kind of talked to me and helped me out. But they said my concussion was nowhere near as bad as I thought it was and it wasn't career-burdening at all."

Abdullah, 26, was in his second season as a starter with the Minnesota Vikings before his fourth concussion in about 15 months left him foggy for weeks. The Vikings put him on injured reserve on Nov. 29, a little more than two weeks after the injury, and as players cleared out their lockers on Jan. 2, Abdullah questioned whether he'd ever play again.

Then he met on Wednesday with Dr. Micky Collins and Dr. Joseph Maroon, who answered many of the questions a local neurologist couldn't.

"That was kind of nerve-wracking for me," Abdullah said of being placed on IR. "I talked to my wife, I talked to my brother, I talked to my dad -- 'Is it time to continue playing or not continue playing?' Either way, I'd be satisfied.

"I just wanted to make sure I explore all options and go see the best people and get the best advice before I make a big decision, because I'm 26 years old and I still want to play football if I'm healthy enough. But if they said that it would be in your best interest to hang 'em up, then I wasn't going to ignore their advice and continue playing."

Set to hit the unrestricted free agent market in March, Abdullah said he hopes to re-sign with the Vikings, who took a chance on him as an undrafted free agent out of Washington State in 2008. He confirmed the team approached him about a contract extension during the season but said he didn't want to deal with the distraction of negotiations.

In addition adjusting his diet and exercise regimen at the doctors' suggestion, Abdullah said he hopes improved tackling technique can keep him out of compromising positions going forward -- although he's well aware how easily injuries occur in the NFL.

"I don't care if you're a punter -- you're at risk if you're out there." Abdullah said. "For me, it was more a matter of learning for example how bad was the last concussion I had, because a lot of the stuff I was having was just my own thoughts about, 'How bad is it? What happened? What is this? What is that?' They said it's not nearly as bad."

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier heard the update from reporters after Monday's practice.

Asked if he sees Abdullah in the team's future plans, Frazier said, "Yeah, he's a good player. He's played well for us. It's unfortunate we lost him this year to injury. But yeah, he's a guy that we think is a good football player."

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
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