In the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans added wide receiver John Metchie III out of Alabama. The WR was coming off a career-best season for the Crimson Tide, as he caught 96 passes for 1,142 yards and 8 touchdowns in his final year on campus.
But just before his rookie campaign was set to get underway, Metchie was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells. The diagnosis cost Metchie his entire rookie season.
Last January, Texans general manager Nick Caserio shared a promising update, outlining how there was a chance Metchie — who was still in treatment at the time — could be back for team activities in the spring. The receiver was cleared to return to football activities, and participated in his first NFL training camp this summer.
He suffered a hamstring injury that sidelined him for the Texans’ regular season opener, but he made his NFL debut on Sunday. While Houston lost in blowout fashion to the Indianapolis Colts, Metchie was finally back on a football field for a game, for the first time since tearing his ACL in the 2021 SEC Championship Game.
And late in the game, he hauled in his first NFL reception:
Love to see this - John Metchie gets his first career catch after missing his entire rookie season battling Leukemia pic.twitter.com/qnZjIX92vp— NFL UK (@NFLUK) September 17, 2023
t has been a long road back for the receiver, but this first game — and first career milestone — is certainly a highlight moment.