Texans Rookie Wide Receiver John Metchie III Reveals Leukemia Diagnosis Ahead Of NFL Start | But Can He Come Back?

Image Credit: Twitter @BarstoolAlabama

The football dream of rookie wide receiver John Metchie III is now deferred as the former Alabama star revealed that he has been diagnosed with leukemia ahead of the 2022 NFL season.

Metchie let the world know that his cancer diagnosis has forced him to, unfortunately miss what would have been his first NFL season in the fall.

Metchie released a statement about his diagnosis and subsequent decision.

“Recently I was diagnosed with APL (Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia), the most curable form of Leukemia,” Metchie wrote. “I am currently receiving great medical care, am in good spirits, and I expect to make a full 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 health and recovery. Thank you in advance for your support and well-wishes. I cannot wait to come back stronger than ever. God bless.”

Acute promyelocytic leukemia causes people to “experience excessive tiredness, pain in affected areas, loss of appetite and weight loss,” according to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

It occurs when “there are too many immature blood-forming cells (promyelocytes) in the blood and bone marrow. The signs and symptoms of APL include an increased risk to both bleed and form blood clots,” according to the National Institutes of Health’s Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center.

Metchie is seen as one of the brightest new talents entering the wide receiver position in the NFL. His output for Alabama was an incredible 96 passes caught for 1,142 yards. He also scored eight touchdowns for the Crimson Tide in 2021 and had 55 receptions for 916 yards and six touchdowns in 2020.

He also scored 2,081 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns throughout his collegiate career. Metchie spent three seasons with Alabama,

Unfortunately, he missed his final two games at Alabama in the College Football Playoffs, recovering from a leg injury. Metchie tore his ACL during the SEC Championship Game in December and was in rehab after knee surgery when he received the Leukemia diagnosis.

His Alabama coach Nick Saban also made a statement in support of one of his former star players.

“John has overcome every challenge placed in front of him in his life with toughness and determination, and we are behind him every step of the way in his fight against Leukemia,” Saban posted on Twitter on Sunday.

“It’s a blessing that he is in a city known for great care and with an organization, in the Houston Texans, who will be with him throughout this journey. Our thoughts and prayers will remain with him throughout this battle.”

The Houston Texans selected Metchie with the No. 44 pick in the 2022 NFL draft, and before this diagnosis he had said that he expected to be ready for training camp. However, the 22-year-old was swiftly placed on the active/non-football illness list after Metchie’s diagnosis was announced on Sunday.

The statement leaves room for Metchie to enter the field in the future, which is a welcome hope to a shocked NFL community caught unaware. His optimism sheds light on his mentality through one of the most challenging fights he will ever have and his desire to potentially return to the gridiron in due time.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society call APL “the most curable form of adult leukemia,” with cure rates of 90 percent at centers specializing in treating the disease.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.