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NFL Rookie John Metchie Diagnosed With Leukemia

Houston Texans first-round draft choice wide receiver John Metchie III revealed that he has been diagnosed with Leukemia and will likely miss the entire 2022 NFL season.

On Sunday, Metchie stated, “Recently, I was diagnosed with APL (Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia), the most curable form of Leukemia. 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.”

Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia is a blood cancer characterized by a marked increase in a type of white blood cells known as promyelocytes, a type of immature white blood cell. Because of advances in diagnostic techniques and modern treatments, APL is considered to be the most curable subtype of acute myeloid Leukemia in adults.

While at the University of Alabama, John Metchie had his breakthrough season during his sophomore year in 2020, when he racked up 916 yards and six touchdowns. In Alabama’s National Championship game victory against Ohio State, Metchie had eight catches for 81 yards.

The following season Metchie helped lead the charge in Alabama’s quest to win back-to-back national titles. The junior wide receiver recorded 96 receptions for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns for the season. Unfortunately, his season ended during the SEC Championship Game when he tore his ACL. The Crimson Tide of Alabama was able to make it back to the National Championship Game. Still, an injured Metchie watched from the sidelines as Alabama lost to Georgia, scoring 33-18.

Four days after the championship game, John Metchie announced he would forego his senior season to enter the NFL Draft. Going into the draft with a serious knee injury dropped Metchie’s draft stock, but he was still selected in the second round with the 44th pick. The Houston Texans drafted Metchie because he’s an excellent route runner, has great speed, and always finds a way to get open. The Texans planned on Metchie being the No. 2 wideout and pairing him with veteran wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Before Sunday’s announcement, Metchie was successfully recovering from his ACL injury and was scheduled to make his return to the football field at the start of training camp. Once John Metchie went public with his diagnosis, his former college coach Nick Saban released a statement. “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.”

Read other sports news and interviews by Vince Smith.

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