John Metchie III might be back with his teammates full-time as soon as April.
The Texans wide receiver, who missed his rookie season because of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL), is doing well, according to General Manager Nick Caserio.
In a Wednesday morning appearance with Seth Payne and Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610, Caserio shared about what he termed "amazing" progress by Metchie.
"I'd say there's a chance that he'll be ready for the start of the offseason program," Caserio said. "I think there are still some things that he has to complete or go through. Quite frankly, it's amazing what he's done to this point."
Metchie, who was chosen in the second round of last April's NFL Draft at 44th overall, played collegiately at Alabama. In his final season with the Crimson Tide, Metchie caught 96 passes for 1,142 yards and eight scores. In three years with Alabama, he appeared in 30 games and averaged 13.4 yards per catch.
Because of the APL diagnosis in late July, Metchie missed training camp, the preseason, and the regular season. But according to Caserio, the pass-catcher has made massive strides towards being ready to contribute.
"He actually looks better now than he did when we drafted him in the spring," Caserio said. "He's improved his strength, he's improved his lower body strength. His attitude has been great, even though he's been dealing with a lot of things medically."
Caserio didn't put a specific timeline on a return and said Metchie still has some "modifications" to deal with, but the GM was very optimistic about the young pass-catcher. Metchie's journey has been uplifting to more than just Caserio. In a late-December press conference, Wide Receivers Coach/Passing Game Coordinator Ben McDaniels explained the rookie's impact.
"He's just constant positivity and inspiration to all of us when he's with us and when we get a chance to be around him," McDaniels said. "I'll walk in and see him working out in the weight room or I'll see him in the tub in the training room, doing a workout in there, it just feeds your soul. It feeds your heart and I think he's done that for all of us in that room. I'm excited for the track that he's on and for his future."
Since the Texans will have a new head coach, they can begin the offseason conditioning program on April 3. Teams with returning head coaches can start as early as April 17.