John Metchie III isn't with the Texans right now, but he's still on their minds.
The rookie receiver was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia just days before the start of Texans training camp in late July. The second-round NFL Draft pick out of Alabama is now fighting the disease, and he has his teammates in his corner.
"His head and his heart are definitely in the right place, and we're here for him," Wide Receiver Chris Conley said after Thursday evening's practice inside NRG Stadium.
Conley and the Texans worked under the lights, 48 hours before their preseason opener against the Saints. Most of the post-practice talk was about the season to come and the changes in the offseason. But Conley was asked about the young teammate he and the rest of the team were just starting to know, and he was optimistic for Metchie.
"He has a big personality," Conley said. "I think that's one of the things in the receiver room we got a chance to get to know about. He might be a person who publicly is very quiet, but he has a very big heart."
Metchie caught 96 passes for 1,142 yards last season for the Crimson Tide, and hauled in a combined 14 scores the last two years. A productive player in college, with a promising future in the pros, Conley has also been impressed with the young pass-catcher's positivity.
"I reached out to him and told him that we'll be walking with him, and praying for him," Conley said.
In response, according to Conley, Metchie replied with a funny picture and "You know fam. We got this".
Conley and company face New Orleans at home on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. CT.