HOUSTON (KXAN) — John Metchie III, a rookie wide receiver for the Houston Texans, revealed Sunday he has leukemia and “will likely not be playing football this season.”
Metchie, drafted No. 44 overall by the Texans in the 2022 NFL Draft out of the University of Alabama, said his diagnosis was acute promyelocytic leukemia, or APL. In a statement, Metchie said he’s “in good spirits,” and expects to make a recovery, “at a later point in time.”
“I am currently receiving great medical care,” the statement said. “Thank you in advance for your support and well wishes. I cannot wait to come back stronger than ever. God bless.”
According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, APL is the most curable form of the disease with cure rates of around 90% from places that specialize in treating it. The LLS’ fact sheet on the disease said the high cure rates are due to advancements in diagnosis and the drugs used to treat it, specifically a drug called all-trans retinotic acid, or ATRA. Arsenic trioxide is also very effective in treating the form of blood cancer, the LLS said.
Former NFL head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with APL while coaching the Indianapolis Colts in 2012 and took three months off to receive treatment. He returned to the sidelines later that year after his cancer went into remission.
Metchie, who caught 96 passes for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns his junior year with the Crimson Tide, has been recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in the Southeastern Conference championship game.