Let's put to rest any lingering doubt about Husain Abdullah's intentions when he went to his knees and touched the crown of his helmet to the grass. Like every defensive back, Abdullah had thought long and hard about what he'd do if and when he scored.
"If I get a pick, I'm going to prostrate before God in the end zone," Abdullah said.
The NFL came out this morning and said the flag on Abdullah was in error, that the rule against going to the ground in celebration has a religious exception. But at the time, there was confusion on the field. Abdullah said no official said anything to him, but he had his own theory. "I don't think it was because of the actual prostration that I got the penalty," Abdullah told the Associated Press. "I think it was because of the slide."
Did Abdullah learn any lessons? "Stop before you drop."
Andy Reid thinks that's bunk. Speaking last night, before the NFL admitted its mistake, the Chiefs coach performed a bit of rulebook exegesis.
"When you go to Mecca, you should be able to slide wherever you want," Reid said after the game. "We've got two priests in here. They'd probably vouch for me."
Abdullah's gesture may have come because the Hajj, the annual religious pilgrimage to Mecca, is going on as we speak. Abdullah's obviously not taking part this year, though he did attend two years ago, forfeiting an entire season of football to travel with his brothers, including former NFL player Hamza Abdullah. Upon his return, Husain caught on with the Chiefs, who said they weren't worried about Abdullah's priorities. "This guy's all football when he's here," defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said.
Abdullah credits Andy Reid with helping him return to the NFL, and says he doesn't expect to get a talking-to from his coach for last night's celebration. He also says next time he'll make sure to pray in an NFL-approved manner.
"I'm pretty sure he understands who I am, what my faith is," he said. "And again, I think the prostration is all right. It's the slide. Come to a full stop, get down, make the prostration, get up and get out."