Andre Hal took another big step in his return from Hodgkins Lymphoma.
After being declared in remission on September 26, the Texans announced Wednesday that Hal would be back at practice this afternoon. For the fifth-year safety, it was welcome news.
"It's very exciting," Hal said. "It's been a long wait for me."
Hal was diagnosed on June 8, and proceeded to a treatment plan that did not involve chemotherapy. All the while, he continued working out at the team facilities, going to meetings, and "staying on top of his X's and O's", according to head coach Bill O'Brien.
"We activated the 21-day window on him, so he'll be able to practice with the team," O'Brien said. "At any point in time over the 21-day window we can decide to activate him to the 53-man roster so we'll see where he's at and go from there. That's great news for 'Dre and for us."
Hal started all 16 games last season at safety, and has nine career interceptions since entering the NFL in 2014. His return will help bolster a defensive backfield that's had strong performances the last two weeks. Where he fits in that secondary is not a big deal to Hal. He's just happy to be back on the field with his teammates.
"That's up to the coaches," Hal said. I"'m a player. I'm going to play."
Hal and the Texans will practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the Houston Methodist Training Center.