Canadian Texans WR Metchie cleared to participate in camp following bout with leukema
HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Texans receiver John Metchie III returned to practice on Wednesday, the first day of training camp, after missing his entire rookie season following a leukemia diagnosis.
Metchie was a full participant in the almost two-hour workout after being cleared to return a little more than a year after revealing he had acute promyelocytic leukemia.
General manager Nick Caserio raved about the work Metchie put in to get back on the field after completing his cancer treatments.
“It just speaks to John’s mental and physical toughness, the way he’s wired,” Caserio said. “He’s a pretty unique person. There's not many people like John Metchie in this world, not many athletes that have had to endure some of the things that he’s had to go through. But it speaks to his perseverance ... what he’s made of and the people around him.”
Caserio credited the team's medical staff for helping Metchie work his way back after his difficult year.
Metchie didn’t speak to reporters Wednesday but was all smiles on the field as he ran through drills and caught passes from quarterback C.J. Stroud, the second overall pick in this year’s draft.
“Having Metchie out was awesome to see,” coach DeMeco Ryans said. “He’s a guy who’s been through so much and … while no cameras are on him, he’s been putting in the work. It’s encouraging to see and I’m happy to have him out here and I’m honored to be his coach.”
The Texans selected Metchie in the second round of last year’s draft after he had 96 receptions for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns in 2021 for Alabama. That came after he had 55 receptions for 916 yards as a sophomore.
While Metchie couldn't play last season, he was never too far from the team. He was often seen around the facility and in the locker room throughout his rookie year.
Caserio said Wednesday it’s too early to know if Metchie will be ready to play in the season opener Sept. 10 at Baltimore. If he is, it will be a boost to Houston’s receiving group, which could use some depth after Brandin Cooks was traded to Dallas this offseason.
Safety Jalen Pitre, who also was a second-round pick last season, faced Metchie in practice Wednesday and loves having him as a teammate.
“It’s really inspiring to see him fight back and do everything that he’s been doing,” Pitre said. “He’s a guy that I want on my team because I know it’s no quit in a guy like that. He’s continuing to show up and continuing to fight. And that’s big for me.”
NOTES: OT Tytus Howard agreed to a three-year $56 million extension with the team. A first-round pick in 2019, Howard has started 54 games in four seasons with the Texans. “Tytus has been a good player for the last number of years,” Caserio said. “He’s a good kid … he’s tough. He’s competitive.”
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