Andre Hal, who beat cancer to return to the field for the Houston Texans last season, is retiring from the NFL.
Hal announced the news Tuesday, saying the decision to walk away from the game is not health-related.
“One thing I’ve learned in life is that change is inevitable and life goes through seasons. This season of my life has come to an end. I will be retiring from the NFL,” Hal wrote in a message posted on Twitter.
“My health did not have anything to do with my decision. I am completely healthy. Thank you to the Houston Texans organization for giving me the opportunity to live my childhood dream. I also want to thank my family and friends for all of their support. I truly appreciate it.”
‘Andre Hal is the type of player you look for’
Hal, 26, spent all five of his NFL seasons with the Texans, starting 40 games at safety for the franchise. In all, Hal, a 2014 seventh-round pick out of Vanderbilt, played in 69 NFL games and accumulated 185 tackles, 31 passes defended and 12 interceptions.
“When constructing a team, Andre Hal is the type of player you look for,” Texans general manager Brian Gaine said. “His personal and football character as well as his team-first attitude were evident from the first day he stepped foot in our facility and was exemplified by his willingness to change positions and do what’s best for the team. We appreciate everything Andre has given to this organization over the last five years and we wish him all the best.”
Added Texans head coach Bill O’Brien: “Andre Hal is the epitome of what it means to be a Houston Texans player. What he overcame last season is nothing short of incredible and is an inspiration to every single person in this building.”
Hal beat cancer and returned to the field
After experiencing blurry vision during offseason practices, Hal was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in May 2018. The Texans divulged the diagnosis in June and placed him on the reserve/non-football illness list.
Hal quickly began treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston was in remission by late September. At that point, Texans team doctor James Muntz described Hal’s improvements as “dramatic.” All the while, Hal continued to work out, basing his treatment on his desire to return to the field at some point during the 2018 season.
Hal explained to Yahoo Sports how he took his treatment into his own hands, including the use of acupuncture, yoga, meditation and vitamin C.
“People need to get involved in their healing,” Hal said. “Doctors can medicate you but you have to get involved. People want to get medicated, but it’s not going to be as effective if you don’t get involved.”
A month later, Hal was activated by the Texans and made his 2018 debut against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 7. Overall for the 2018 season, Hal played in eight games, starting two, and registered 13 tackles and three interceptions.
The inspiring return to the field earned Hal the Texans’ 2018 Ed Block Courage Award.
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