‘Such an inspiration’: Texans players react to Dylan Horton remission news

Dylan Horton’s rookie season didn’t go as planned.

Horton, the Houston Texans’ fourth-round pick out of TCU in 2023, fought diligently to carve out a role on DeMeco Ryans’ defensive line as a rookie. He pushed himself to the limit in practice, hoping to stand out immediately. 

But Horton’s season was cut short after he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was placed on the non-football illness list while undergoing grueling medical treatment for several months. 

There is a happy ending to this somber tale. Earlier this month, Horton posted a video to Instagram of him ringing the bell following his final chemotherapy session. Just before the start of voluntary OTAs, the second-year defensive lineman returned to team meetings and was greeted by an uproar of applause from teammates. 

“What a special moment for Dylan, Ryans said. “For me to see him ring the bell, it brings a tear to your eye just to know a young man whose career is ahead of him, he is just going along playing football and at the drop of a dime that changes That is for all of us. Life changes at an instant, at a moment, but it is about how you respond and Dylan has responded tremendously.” 

Horton, who went on the NFI list following a Week 12 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, posted an update back in March to the Texans’ social media accounts, telling fans he was in remission and he planned to return to football when fully cleared. 

Last month, he posted a caption, “Glory to God. Final Treatment,” thus signaling his battle back to the game and the end of his fight with cancer.

“God is good,” safety Jalen Pitre said. “He’s faithful. Dylan pushed through, and I was very thankful to see that on Instagram. That was the first time I’d seen him in a while. Just to see the strength that he had through that process was definitely inspiring.” 

A native of Frisco, Horton finished his first NFL season with 13 tackles, one for a loss and two quarterback hits in 10 games. While he likely won’t be back next month for the start of minicamp, the second-year defensive end could be cleared for drills by the start of training camp in August. 

It’s great seeing him back in [the building],” tight end Dalton Schultz said. “He was a young guy last year, but it felt like we lost a part of that class. Him being back around is great. It’s great for morale. Guys love him. I’m happy he’s back.” 

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire