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USATSI

Houston Texans wide receiver John Metchie III announced on Sunday that he has been diagnosed with APL (Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia) and will likely miss the 2022 season as he focuses on his recovery. The Alabama product was a second-round pick of the Texans earlier this spring at the 2022 NFL Draft

"Recently, I was diagnosed with APL (Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia), the most curable form of Leukemia," Metchie's statement reads. "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."

According to MedlinePlus.gov, APL is a cancer of the blood-forming tissues that "leads to a shortage of normal white and red blood cells and platelets in the body." It is most often diagnosed around the age of 40 and occurs in approximately 1 in 250,000 people in the United States. 

Texans head coach Lovie Smith had Metchie address the team ahead of their meeting. 

"I normally start off the first meeting addressing our football team. This year, we let John Metchie do it," Smith said Friday. "There were a lot of questions on what's going on with his health, so I let him talk to the football team and let them know what he has in store this year and how it would affect our football team," Smith said.

Smith went on to offer support for Metchie, who he called "a family member fighting something serious."

"We're going to be there every step of the way with him. Eventually, he will get back out there with our football team and we can't wait for that," the head coach continued. 

Discussing Metchie's speech, Smith said, "Well you could imagine. First off, he's fighting something serious. What can you do as a teammate? What can you do? You can show support. We've tried to get the message to all the players on exactly what John [Metchie] is going through, but it was good for them to hear his voice -- talking about being here to support you and but I can't be with the team right now, eventually I'll be there. But you can imagine how it was."

For the Crimson Tide in 2021, Metchie played 13 games and hauled in 96 receptions for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns. The 22-year-old was also recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in the 2021 SEC Championship Game. 

With Metchie likely sidelined for the season, the top of the Texans wide receiver depth chart consists of Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins, Phillip Dorsett, Chris Conley, and Chris Moore