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David Quessenberry, Texans, thrilled he'll play

David Quessenberry is back.

The Texans offensive lineman actually hasn't left Houston in awhile, but Quessenberry signed with the 53-man squad on Tuesday, and will play this Monday afternoon against the Steelers.

When he hits the field on Christmas Day, it'll be the first action in a non-exhibition game since he helped San Jose State beat Bowling Green in the 2012 Military Bowl. That was December 27, 2012, almost five whole years ago.

"For me, I get to play on Monday Night Football and on Christmas," Quessenberry said during a Wednesday press conference. "It doesn't get any better than that."

Quessenberry was a sixth round pick in 2013, and spent his rookie season on the injured reserve with a foot injury. He was diagnosed with lymphoma in the spring of 2014, and spent the past three seasons on the non-football illness injury list while he went through chemotherapy. He was declared cancer-free last summer, went through OTAs, minicamp and training camp with the Texans, and spent this season on the practice squad.

Making his NFL debut this week will be extra special for Quessenberry, who pointed out "nothing that I've been through has been normal, since I've been drafted."

Center Nick Martin was placed on injured reserve earlier this week, and left tackle Jeff Allen left Sunday's loss at Jacksonville with a concussion. Greg Mancz will likely start at center against the Steelers, and he was glad Quessenberry was added to the roster.

"I couldn't be happier for a guy," Mancz said. "That guy works so hard at everything he does. I'm happy he's going to get his chance." 

Mancz added that Quessenberry's a skilled player, and will more than hold his own.

"I don't think there's ever really been a doubt about that," Mancz said. "He's a tough, nasty offensive lineman. He's told me some tricks throughout the years. I'm excited to see him get after it."

Head coach Bill O'Brien made the announcement in a team meeting on Wednesday morning, and relished the reaction from the squad.

"It was cool," O'Brien said. "To be in that room and to know, especially all of us that have been with him since he was diagnosed with that horrible disease, it's a very, very cool moment."

The Texans host the Steelers at 3:30 p.m. CT inside NRG Stadium this Monday.

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