Texans wide receiver John Metchie III is making “massive strides” in his recovery from a form of leukemia, general manager Nick Caserio shared on Wednesday.
Caserio said the rookie receiver has a “chance” to be ready for the Texans' offseason programs, which are set to begin in early April.
“I'd say there's a chance he'll be ready for the start of the offseason program. I think there are still some things that he has to complete or go through. Quite frankly, it's amazing what he's done to this point,” Caserio noted during an appearance with Seth Payne and Sean Pendergast on Houston's SportsRadio 610.
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Caserio added that Metchie had maintained a positive outlook despite his health circumstances.
: “He actually looks better now than he did when we drafted him in the spring. He's improved his strength, he's improved his lower body strength. His attitude has been great, even though he's been dealing with a lot of things medically.”
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Metchie revealed in July that he had been diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia. He said he would forgo the 2022 NFL season to focus on his treatment and recovery.
“Recently, I was diagnosed with APL (acute promyelocytic leukemia), the most curable form of leukemia. I am currently receiving great medical care, am in good spirits and I expect to make a recovery at a later point in 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. Thank you in advance for your support and well wishes. I cannot wait to come back stronger than ever. God bless,” Metchie said in July.
The team placed Metchie on the non-football illness list after the diagnosis. He worked out at the Texans' facility after his diagnosis and was sometimes seen at team practices.
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Caserio did mention that there is no timeline for the pass-catcher to return to the field. He cautioned that Metchie would still need to work through a few “modifications” before returning to the football field.
Metchie was a second-round draft pick. He caught 96 passes for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns In 2021 with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
He suffered an ACL injury during the first half of the SEC Championship game in December 2021 against the Georgia Bulldogs, which would be the last game he played at the collegiate level.
Earlier this week, the Texans announced that Lovie Smith would be relieved of his head coaching duties following a 3-13-1 season. Smith's controversial firing marked the second consecutive year the organization parted ways with a head coach after just one season.
The Texans fired David Culley after the team went 4-13 in his one season at the helm.
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Additionally, the team forfeited the No. 1 pick in this year's draft after winning their regular-season finale against the Colts.