Skip to main content

Texans coach Lovie Smith has John Metchie address team following rookie's leukemia diagnosis

The Texans chose Lovie Smith to lead their team into 2022 and beyond.

At the start of their first training camp, the coach found it appropriate to give the floor to an even newer addition with a more significant battle ahead.

Instead of beginning camp by addressing his whole team, Smith instead asked second-round pick John Metchie III to do so. The former Alabama star likely won't play this season due to his recent acute promyelocytic leukemia diagnosis, but Smith believed his words would matter much more to his new teammates than anything the coach could say.

"I normally start off the first meeting addressing our football team. This year, we let John Metchie do it," Smith said Friday. "There were a lot of questions on what's going on with his health, so I let him talk to the football team and let them know what he has in store this year and how it would affect our football team.

"All I can say about that is we have a family member fighting something serious and were going to be there every step of the way with him. Eventually, he will get back out there with our football team and we can't wait for that."

Metchie's form of leukemia is the most curable, but will still require treatments that will prevent him from nearing a return for most of 2022. Instead of preparing for his first professional camp, he's getting ready to fight cancer. And in order to clear up any questions on his condition, Smith gave Metchie the opportunity to speak directly to his teammates -- and potentially inspire them, as well.

"Well you could imagine. First off, he's fighting something serious," Smith said of Metchie's speech. "What can you do as a teammate? What can you do? You can show support. We've tried to get the message to all the players on exactly what John [Metchie] is going through, but it was good for them to hear his voice -- talking about being here to support you and but I can't be with the team right now, eventually I'll be there. But you can imagine how it was."

The Texans will have a little more to play for than the rest in 2022. Metchie will begin his treatment knowing they're thinking about him when they take the field.

Related Content