Now that Andre Hal is cancer-free, he wants to suit up with his teammates.
That could happen within the next 45 days.
On Wednesday morning, the news came out that the safety's Hodgkin's Lymphoma was in remission. He was diagnosed in May, and chose a treatment path that didn't include chemotherapy. He opted for that route in hopes he could get back on the field during the 2018 season.
Hal's currently on the Reserve/Non-Football Illness list. At the earliest, he's eligible to come off it the week of October 8 after the contest versus Dallas. The Texans don't have to bring him off at that point, but whenever he does come off that list, he can practice for 21 days. After the 21 days are up, the Texans can then add him to the active roster or place him on Injured Reserve. So the soonest Hal could play would be in November.
"That's something I'm really waiting on, the trainers and the doctors will tell me whether they're going to clear me or not," Hal said. "But, I've been working out the whole time, I never stopped working out. I was obsessed. I wanted to get back on the field."
Head coach Bill O'Brien and the Texans would very much like him back in the fold. But O'Brien stressed that's not the primary objective, yet.
"Right now, Andre's health and wellbeing is our main priority, that's our main deal," O'Brien said. "We'll take it day by day."
Senior Director of Sports Medicine and Head Athletic Trainer Geoff Kaplan detailed what the next milestones are in Hal's journey back to the gridiron.
"We're just going through the last steps of meeting with the doctors at M.D. Anderson, meeting with Doctor (James) Muntz, and kind of getting everybody on the same page," Kaplan said. "I think everything's on the table. We're just taking it a day at a time. A week at a time, like he's done, during this whole process. He's been incredible."
From 2015 through 2017, Hal started 38 games and picked off nine passes. According to O'Brien, he's also been a locker room leader. For quarterback Deshaun Watson, Wednesday's news was welcome.
"It's awesome to see that," Watson said. "I'm glad that he's doing great and always carrying around a smile, working out with us and keeping the energy and positive vibes around this locker room."
The Texans travel to Indianapolis this weekend for a Sunday matchup with the Colts.
Check out some of the best shots of safety Andre Hal.