Texans' John Metchie III (leukemia) practices on first day of camp

HOUSTON -- Houston Texans wide receiver John Metchie III, who was diagnosed with leukemia in July 2022, practiced Wednesday, the first day of Texans' training camp.

Metchie was the Texans' 2022 second-round draft pick out of Alabama after finishing college with 2,081 yards and 14 touchdowns. His cancer diagnosis led to the Texans placing him on the non-football illness list, which caused him to miss his rookie year.

Metchie ran with the first- and second-team offenses. With him on the field, coach DeMeco Ryans called it an "honor to be his coach."

"Having Metchie out was awesome to see. Seeing a guy who's been through so bad and just a credit to him and the work that he's put in," Ryans said after the first day of training camp. "It's just a credit to his work ethic and how relentless he's been in this process. With no cameras on him, he's been putting in the work, and it's encouraging to see. I'm happy to have him out."

The encouragement goes beyond the coaching staff, as Metchie's teammates have been impressed by his resolve and expect him to contribute.

"I'm happy for him, and I'm happy to see him out there," Texans safety Jimmie Ward said. "He's a stud. Y'all seen him at Alabama. I was waiting to see him, and now that I saw him move, I see why he was so highly drafted."

Now that Metchie has recovered from cancer, the team hopes he can become essential to the Texans' pass attack.