NFL Rookie Wide Receiver Diagnosed With Leukemia, Likely to Miss 2022 Season

An NFL rookie wide receiver made a big announcement about his health. John Metchie III announced on Sunday that he has been diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL) and will likely miss the entire 2022 season. Metchie was selected in the second round of this year's NFL draft.

"Recently I was diagnosed with APL (Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia), the most curable form of Leukemia," Metchie said in his statement. "I am currently receiving great medical care, am in good spirits and I expect to make a recovery at a later point in time. As a result of this diagnosis, I will likely not be playing football this season. My main focus will be on my health and recovery. Thank you in advance for your support and well-wishes. I cannot wait to come back stronger than ever. God Bless."  

Alabama v Auburn
(Photo: Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

Metchie, 22, joined the Texans after a strong career with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Last season, the star wide receiver caught 96 passes for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2020, Metchie caught 55 passes for 916 yards and six touchdowns while helping the team win the national championship. Before the announcement, Metchie was recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in the SEC Championship game in December. 

"John has overcome every challenge placed in front of him in his life with toughness and determination, and we are behind him every step of the way in his fight against Leukemia," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said in a statement. "It's a blessing that he is in a city known for great medical care and with an organization, in the Houston Texans, who will be with him throughout this journey. Our thoughts and prayers will remain with him throughout this battle."   


Back in May, Metchie opened up about his ACL injury. "As far as my recovery, in that moment, I was blessed to have my family with me and I was in a good space," Metchie said, per 247Sports. "I knew I was going to be back and it was just going to be a little speed bump. But as far as the recovery, I mean, I'll be good to play football in July. I'll be good to go. No training wheels. I've been running and ready for the last couple months — running, jumping, doing all those type of things. So when I say, 'Ready in July,' it's just football, football."