Sean Pendergast

Houston Texans Rookie WR John Metchie III Diagnosed With Leukemia

Nick Caserio has his first curveball of the 2022 season to handle as GM, with John Metchie's leukemia diagnosis.
Nick Caserio has his first curveball of the 2022 season to handle as GM, with John Metchie's leukemia diagnosis. Photo by Jack Gorman
The Houston Texans have had more than their four star share of adversity to deal with over the last couple of years, much of it self inflicted. Unfortunately, on Sunday morning, bad news was announced that was much more serious than your garden variety football injury or bad front office decision. Rookie wide receiver John Metchie III, a second round draft pick out of Alabama, announced that he is being treated for APL (Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia).

Here is Metchie's statement, courtesy of the Texans' Twitter feed:
Metchie has already been rehabbing a torn ACL that he suffered in the SEC Title Game last season, so this is just the latest detour that the youngster out of Alabama has been dealt in his football journey.  Metchie had 96 catches for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns last season at Alabama before tearing his ACL in December.

It was widely believed that Metchie would indeed be ready for training camp, and he was expected to play a vital role as the slot receiver for quarterback Davis Mills, and serve as a fixture on the depth chart right below veteran Brandin Cooks and second year wide receiver Nico Collins.

Obviously, the human side of any cancer diagnosis supersedes football depth charts and fantasy rankings, and as Metchie pointed out in his statement, APL is a very curable form of cancer, and the hope would be that he is back, and ready to contribute in 2023. Big picture, Metchie could not have picked a better city to be drafted to, if you're diagnosed with any form of cancer, as Houston's medical center is a mecca for cancer treatment.

This is the second noteworthy instance of a Houston Texans player being diagnosed with cancer while under contract, as offensive lineman David Quessenberry was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma back in 2014, and was finally declared cancer free and played for the Texans in 2017. He remains in the league today.

Texans training camp begins on Friday with the first practice.

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast