John Metchie III’s NFL debut immediately became delayed when he found out about his leukemia diagnosis in 2022.
He didn’t know what his future in football would look like, he said in August.
Most of his family was in Canada, which made it difficult, at times, to see them.
But Sunday, when the Texans face the Colts, Metchie will log his first regular-season snaps as a member of Houston, with his appearance delayed a week due to a lingering hamstring injury.
He channeled any lingering hesitations and converted them into a return that’ll allow a rebuilding Texans team to get a glimpse of the player they drafted in the second round in 2022.
“I’m extremely excited,” Metchie said this week, according to KPRC-TV, “but I can’t get too ahead of myself. I just have to, like I said, be patient. That’s kind of the biggest thing. Although I’m really excited, I got to be patient and ready whenever my number is called.”
Metchie, who tore his ACL in the 2021 SEC title game while playing for Alabama, announced in July 2022 that he’d been diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia, which he described as the “most curable form.”
“I am currently receiving great medical care, am in good spirits and I expect to make a recovery at a later point in time,” he wrote, in part, in a statement published at the time. “As a result of this diagnosis, I will likely not be playing football this season. My main focus will be on my health and recovery.”
From there, his path back to football began.
In January, Texans general manager Nick Caserio said in a radio interview that Metchie was still receiving treatment but added “It’s amazing what he’s done to this point,” according to ESPN.
By the time August arrived, Metchie felt “110 percent” and “better now than I ever did in college,” according to NFL.com, and he’d already made an impression on first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans.
Metchie compiled two catches on three targets for 10 yards across the Texans’ three preseason games, and he’ll add to an offense — alongside other receivers Nico Collins and Robert Woods — that managed just nine points in a season-opening loss to the Ravens.
“It’s been great being able to be back out there and kinda start contributing to the team and stuff,” Metchie told KPRC-TV.
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