Jalen Camp scored his first NFL touchdown on his first play against the New Orleans Saints in preseason. After the toss from QB Jeff Driskel, the Houston Texans took a 10-3 lead and gave a nod to a player on their minds and in their hearts.
John Metchie III.
"All the guys in the receiving room decided that the very first touchdown that we had was going to be the crane celebration for (John) Metchie for everything that he's going through and just pay homage," Camp said.
Last week, the Texans wide receivers decided as a group to celebrate their first touchdown with Metchie's signature crane pose.
Metchie saw the celebration and exchanged texts with Camp afterwards.
"We talked after the game, and he was just appreciative, and we're obviously appreciative of him and everything he's done these past couple months and the fight that he has going on right now," Camp said.
Metchie, drafted with the 12th pick of the second round of this year's NFL Draft, is currently undergoing treatment for APL (Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia). While the prognosis is good (APL is a curable form of leukemia), Metchie will not get to suit up for his rookie season.
"I just feel bad for (John) Metchie," DB Tremon Smith said. "I wish he was out there playing with us because he would have been a big part of this season this year."
The Texans placed Metchie on the Non-Football Illness list prior to the start of training camp. The former Alabama wideout sent a video message to his teammates to tell them personally about his diagnosis. Texans players felt it was important to let Metchie know he was still very much a part of their thoughts even if he was not on the field with them.
"It's just about everything that he's going through right now, coming off the injury last season and finally working his way to be able to play with us and then getting diagnosed with the cancer," Camp said. "I think that we all realized that what he's going through and what he's dealing with is kind of bigger than everything that we're doing. We're out here playing football and he's dealing with something way bigger than this, so for us to just do that little celebration was big for us to do."