It had been a long time for David Quesseberry.
1,441 days, to be exact.
When the Texans' offensive lineman hit the field Wednesday night in Charlotte, nearly four years had passed from the last time he suited up and played in a football game. The bulk of the previous three saw the former San Jose State standout in and out of chemotherapy in a fight against lymphoma. Getting back in action, and the promise of it, had the butterflies flapping their wings inside Quessenberry.
"I was nervous for about three days leading up to this, "Even though this was a preseason game, it was probably the most nervous I'd been for a football game in my life."
Quessenberry's last game action was August 29, 2013 in the preseason finale against the Cowboys in Arlington. Only 12 Texans are currently on the roster who were also on the squad back then. Those dozen have seen their teammate battle back from what can be a fatal disease, so it wasn't just a happy night for Quessenberry.
"That's by far the biggest story of the day," defensive end J.J. Watt said of Quessenberry's return. "The guy's a warrior. He's a fighter. An inspiration to all of us. I think DQ deserves every bit of headline and every bit of praise that everybody gives him."
Head coach Bill O'Brien, who's spoken numerous times about how amazing Quessenberry's comeback has been, remained in awe.
"It's just incredible that he just played in an NFL football game," O'Brien said. "All that he's been through. How special he is to this organization. To be able to go out there and play in an NFL game, that's a pretty big deal."
A couple hours before the game, Quessenberry stepped on to the field for warmups and was surprised by his parents, his girlfriend and a few other familly members. He didn't know they were coming to Charlotte for the game, and their presence was a welcome sight.
"Before the game I got really emotional," Quessenberry said. "I saw my family there on the sideline. But then once the first play started, it was back to football."
At the 9:40 mark of the second quarter, he entered the game at left guard. He played the rest of the half, and a good chunk of the second half.
He and the Texans returned to The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia after the game, and will resume practices over the weekend.
The Houston Texans are warming up before taking on the Panthers in Carolina for the first game in the 2017 preseason.