HOUSTON (BVM) – When the Houston Texans drafted wide receiver John Metchie III in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft, they knew that it would take time for him to get on the field. That’s because the former Alabama Crimson Tide star tore his ACL during the 2021 SEC championship game and still needed some time to recover. The team had a support system ready to help Metchie through the difficult recovery process and the upcoming season, but even that system was tested over the summer.
In July, Metchie released a statement revealing that he was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia, which is, fortunately, the most curable of Leukemia’s many forms. With that diagnosis, Metchie was set for yet another challenging health struggle as he aimed to return to the field.
Though his recovery will likely keep him off the field for the entirety of the 2022 season, Metchie’s fellow Texans wide receivers are doing their part to represent him on the gridiron. On Tuesday, the Texans receiver group revealed their gear for the NFL’s “My Cause My Cleats” initiative which allows league players to wear customized cleats in honor of the causes they have chosen to support. For the Texans receiving core the cause was an easy choice–leukemia awareness.
In a social media video, Metchie was met on the field by his fellow receivers who were holding the new cleats. The shoes are orange, the color of the leukemia awareness ribbon, with the left side of the cleat, reading “Believe” with a ribbon in place of the L and the right side reading “Metchie Strong” with a drawing of Metchie in his famous kung fu pose celebration.
“Any way we can fight this battle with you, we just wanted to you know, bring awareness, and just kinda tell you thank you from the bottom of my heart,” one teammate said. “We love you, keep inspiring us in everything that you’re doing. You know we got your back every step of the way, as best we can for sure.”
Metchie reacted to the news on his Instagram, reposting multiple posts about the cleats onto his own story as well as reacting on the Texans’ initial post.
Though Metchie may not directly impact the team on the field, his determination and strength shown during his recovery has clearly left its mark on his teammates. While it may be a bit until Texans fans get to see the wideout play for the team on Sundays, Metchie will continue to inspire many as he works through his battle with APL and his Houston coaches and teammates will be with him every step of the way.