Texans GM thinks WR John Metchie III could be ready by April, 9 months after leukemia diagnosis

The Houston Texans have some good news on wide receiver John Metchie III.

Texans general manager Nick Caserio said Wednesday on Houston's SportsRadio 610 that the former second-round draft pick has made "amazing" progress in his battle against acute promyelocytic leukemia, a treatable form of cancer, and could be ready for full-time work with the team as soon as April.

Caserio's comment, via the Texans' site:

"I'd say there's a chance that he'll be ready for the start of the offseason program," Caserio said. "I think there are still some things that he has to complete or go through. Quite frankly, it's amazing what he's done to this point."

Metchie announced his diagnosis last July and ended up missing his entire rookie season as he underwent treatment for the illness.

The Texans drafted Metchie with the 44th overall pick of the 2022 NFL draft after a standout career at Alabama, which unfortunately ended with a torn ACL in the 2021 SEC championship game. Metchie already faced an uphill battle to see significant playing time as a rookie, but his production, agility and route-running still made him a serious prospect.

Per Caserio, Metchie looks even better now than when the Texans drafted him:

"He actually looks better now than he did when we drafted him in the spring," Caserio said. "He's improved his strength, he's improved his lower body strength. His attitude has been great, even though he's been dealing with a lot of things medically."

Adding Metchie figures to be a significant boost for the Texans, who struggled throughout 2022 and finished with a 3-13-1 record. The team's wide receiver corps was widely seen as a weakness, as no pass-catcher posted more than 700 yards. With leading receiver Brandin Cooks still signaling he has no interested in staying with the team, there are clearly going to be targets available if Metchie can see the field next season.

The Texans are searching for yet another head coach after firing Lovie Smith and are also widely expected to draft their future quarterback in the upcoming 2023 NFL draft, in which they have the second overall pick, so Metchie has a chance to be there on Day 1 for the team's new era.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAR 02: John Metchie #WO18 of the Alabama Crimson Tide speaks to reporters during the NFL Draft Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on March 2, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
John Metchie is reportedly trending in the right direction for the Texans. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)