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Texans WR John Metchie 'making progress' upon return to practice field during voluntary minicamp

The Houston Texans made bold draft moves to upgrade their roster in 2023, but one wild card in the process is a 2022 draftee.

Wide receiver John Metchie missed his rookie campaign battling leukemia. He was on the practice field last week for the Texans' voluntary minicamp, and general manager Nick Caserio said over the weekend that he like's what he's seen from the former Alabama wideout.

"He's making progress," Caserio said, via the team's official transcript. "So he was a full participant last week when we got on the field for sort of Phase 2, which is what we did."

Metchie tore his ACL in the 2021 SEC Championship Game while at Alabama, but the Texans still drafted him in the second round, viewing his upside as worth the gamble. Metchie, however, was diagnosed with leukemia in the offseason.

Given the long time off the field, the offseason program is vital to Metchie's development in Houston.

"Still has a lot of -- he hasn't played football in a long time, so going from Phase 2 then really Phase 3 when we actually start practicing football, some of the football movements that are involved, space, defense -- not that we're going to have contact," Caserio said. "Nobody's worked harder over the last however many months to get himself to this point. I wouldn't say anybody is surprised that he's arrived at this point. I'd say his will to work, his effort, his mental and physical toughness, and the work with the sports performance staff has been incredible. There's a lot of people that deserve a lot of credit that have helped him get to this point. Start with John. I would say it's kind of inspiring to see somebody do that."

The Texans traded away Brandin Cooks to Dallas this offseason while signing veterans Robert Woods and Noah Brown to go along with 2021 third-rounder Nico Collins. Houston drafted short spark-plug wideout Tank Dell in the third round and Xavier Hutchinson in the sixth over the weekend.

Through it all, Metchie is the wild card, owning the natural ability to skyrocket up the depth chart and become a go-to target for rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud.

"He's making progress. He's in a good spot," Caserio said of Metchie. "Haven't been any setbacks. Still a long road ahead of us, and he hasn't played a lot of football. We're all certainly cautiously optimistic about where he's headed."

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