John Metchie III, a rookie wide receiver for the Houston Texans, has been diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia and does not plan to play in the NFL in 2022.
On Sunday afternoon, the Texans released a statement from the former Alabama star:
The most treatable kind of leukemia, APL, was recently diagnosed in Metchie, he said. Medical care is going well and my spirits are high; I expect to return to full health at some point in the future. To put it bluntly: This diagnosis means that I will probably miss the entire season. Going forward, I’m going to put my health and recuperation as a top priority. Please accept my sincere gratitude for your kind words and well wishes. I can’t wait to make a great comeback. In the name of God, amen.”
In a statement, Alabama head coach Nick Saban said he was “proud” of Metchie.
“John has surmounted every challenge in his life with toughness and determination,” Saban stated, “and we are behind him every step of the way in his fight against leukemia. It’s a blessing that he’s in Houston, where the medical community is well-regarded, and that he’s surrounded by a supportive group in the Houston Texans. “We will keep him in our thoughts and prayers as he fights this battle.”
During the NFL Draft on April 29, Houston Texans scouts picked Metchie in the second round. Even though Alabama wide receiver Metchie could miss the start of his NFL career because of a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament sustained in the SEC Championship Game, the Houston Texans traded the 68th, 108th, and 124th selections in this year’s draft to get him with the 44th pick.
He has 55 catches for 916 yards and six touchdowns in 2020 before catching 96 passes in 2021 for 1,142 yards and eight scores for the Crimson Tide. When healthy, he was anticipated to play slot receiver for the Houston Texans.
The Texans made Metchie’s remark public on the same day that the team’s rookies reported to their inaugural training camp in the NFL.
According to the NIH, acute promyelocytic leukemia arises when “too many immature blood-forming cells (promyelocytes) in the blood and bone marrow” are present in the body. As a result, the body’s white and red blood cells and platelets become depleted. APL is associated with a higher risk of bleeding and blood clot formation. Excessive fatigue, soreness in the affected areas, a lack of appetite, and weight loss are all possible side effects.
Treatment for APL has a cure rate of 90% at specialized facilities, according to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which labels APL “the most treatable form of adult leukemia”.
According to the National Institutes of Health, between 300 and 3,000 Americans are infected by APL.