Texans waive David Quessenberry but not counting him out for future

Texans waive cancer survivor David Quessenberry (1:43)

ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates discusses whether OT David Quessenberry, who is in remission from cancer, has a future in the NFL. (1:43)

HOUSTON -- A year after entering remission from cancer and three years after the Texans drafted him, David Quessenberry was hoping to be on his way to finally playing an NFL down.

That goal will likely be delayed one more year.

"I don't know if there's ever been somebody that's been out for four years, but if anybody can do it, it's David Quessenberry." Texans coach Bill O'Brien on the possibility David Quessenberry will play in the NFL

The Texans waived the offensive tackle Tuesday with a non-football injury designation. He won't play for the Texans this year, but if he clears waivers, he will likely return to the roster on the Texans' non-football injury/illness list. He could also return in some other capacity.

"It is our hope that he'll revert to reserve NFI so he can continue to be a part of this organization, continue his recovery and fulfill his goal of playing again," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. "We just felt like there may be a point during the fall, during camp when he was burning the candle at both ends, so to speak."

If Quessenberry does return for the 2017 season, he will do so after missing four seasons of football -- one with a foot injury that cost him his rookie year and three recovering from cancer.

"I don't know if there's ever been somebody that's been out for four years, but if anybody can do it, it's David Quessenberry," O'Brien said. "This guy's a driven, driven guy. He has a passion for football. This guy has never missed a day other than when he's had to go have cancer treatments at the cancer center. He's here early, he stays late, he's helping teammates out, helping in the weight room, working out on his own. So if there's anybody that can come back and play, it's David Quessenberry."

In June 2014, Quessenberry was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin T-lymphoblastic lymphoma after a Texans athletic trainer found his persistent cough suspicious. While his teammates prepared for the season, Quessenberry battled for his life, going through intense chemotherapy. Most of his treatments were at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

"DQ's one of the strongest guys I know," Texans defensive end J.J. Watt said. "He is an inspiration. That word gets tossed around a lot, but he's the epitome of what an inspiration is."

By February, Quessenberry had gone into remission, but he still had to undergo a maintenance protocol that involved chemotherapy pills to keep the illness at bay.

He hoped to return to the field last season, but ultimately the Texans decided he couldn't. In an emotional scene shown on HBO's "Hard Knocks," coach Bill O'Brien told Quessenberry he was going to be placed on the non-football illness/injury list.

Now more than a full year removed from the most intense part of his treatment, Quessenberry was optimistic. After losing more than 30 pounds during treatment, he'd gained back most of it. He was still taking medications as part of a maintenance plan, but he was back to working out and practicing with the team.

O'Brien said the team believes this plan will give the former sixth-round pick his best chance to contribute to the Texans.

"We've got a guy that can play football," O'Brien said. Let's give him every opportunity to beat cancer, first, and then get back to where he can actually get on the field and compete and help us win."