John Metchie

Texans WR John Metchie III Active For Week 2 Matchup With Colts

Texans wide receiver John Metchie III is active for the team’s Week 2 game against the Colts today. As such, the 2022 second-rounder will finally make his regular season debut.

It has been a long road for Metchie. The rebuilding Houston franchise selected the Alabama product, a first-round talent, with the No. 44 overall pick in last year’s draft as something of a buy-low maneuver. Although the team knew that Metchie, who suffered a torn ACL in the SEC title game in December 2021, would not be ready for the start of his rookie campaign, there was hope that he would be able to suit up at some point in 2022 and begin to provide a return on the Texans’ investment.

Sadly, Metchie with diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia last July, at which point it became clear he would miss all of 2022. He progressed enough in his recovery to participate in the Texans’ offseason program this year, though a hamstring strain prevented him from getting much OTA work. And while Metchie was able to see preseason action, the hamstring issue kept him out of last week’s regular season opener against the Ravens.

With his health issues hopefully in the rearview mirror, Metchie will try to begin capitalizing on his vast potential. Now 23, Metchie put himself on the draft radar with a pair of productive seasons with the Crimson Tide in 2020 and ’21. Across that span, he totaled 151 catches, 2,058 yards, and 14 touchdowns.

Although Houston dropped its Week 1 bout, the defense and rookie QB C.J. Stroud showed some promise. With Metchie and fellow pass catchers like Nico Collins, Tank Dell, and Xavier Hutchinson, to go along with second-year running back Dameon Pierce, the Texans hope they have a young core of skill position talent to build upon.

As of the time of this writing, Metchie has not yet recorded a catch in the matchup with Indianapolis.

WR Notes: Watson, Metchie, Chark, McLaurin, Smith-Njigba

Jordan Love‘s tenure as the Packers‘ full-time starting quarterback will have a bit of a hurdle to navigate this week. In his first start since November 2021, Love will be without the team’s top returning receiver Christian Watson, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.

Watson is dealing with a hamstring injury that could potentially lead to an extended absence. Head coach Matt LaFleur claimed that he doesn’t think Watson will reach a three- or four-week absence but classified the second-year wideout as week-to-week.

The top target in Watson’s absence, fellow sophomore receiver Romeo Doubs, is also dealing with a hamstring injury but is only listed as questionable heading into the weekend. Rookie wideout Dontayvion Wicks is the third such receiver on the team dealing with a hamstring injury, but he managed to avoid the injury report altogether. Star tackle David Bakhtiari is also available after staying off the injury report.

Here are a few more reports on wide receiver injuries from around the league heading into Week 1:

  • The world will have to continue to wait for the NFL debut of Texans wide receiver John Metchie III, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC2. Despite making a recovery from both a torn ACL and leukemia, Metchie is still dealing with a nagging hamstring injury. Houston is being patient, taking a “big-picture approach” to Metchie’s return. The team will be without safety Jimmie Ward and linebacker Blake Cashman for Week 1, as well.
  • The Panthers are slowly working their way back to full health in their receiving corps, according to Panthers writer Augusta Stone. Back ups Terrace Marshall and Ihmir Smith-Marsette are now fully participating in practice after recent injury trouble. Starters Adam Thielen and D.J. Chark Jr. both returned to practice today in a limited capacity. While Thielen was listed as questionable and could still play, Chark has been ruled out for the team’s season opener.
  • The Commanders drew lots of criticism when leading receiver Terry McLaurin sustained an injury as the team played its starters fairly deep into a preseason game in an effort to end the Ravens’ preseason win streak. They’ll dodge a bullet, though, as McLaurin will be active this week after making good progress from his turf toe injury, according to Commanders senior writer Zach Selby. He’s had a couple of full participation practices and should be good to go for Week 1. Defensive end Chase Young has been listed as questionable, though. Head coach Ron Rivera claimed that “if (Young’s) cleared, he’ll go.”
  • Despite undergoing wrist surgery just two and a half weeks ago, Seahawks rookie first round pick Jaxon Smith-Njigba is expected to play in the team’s season opener against the Rams this Sunday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Head coach Pete Carroll, who was optimistic on the recovery timeline, confirmed as much this week.

Latest On Texans’ WR Corps

The Texans’ wide receiving corps was among the league’s worst last season, finishing 26th in combined receptions, 28th in receiving yards, and 28th in receiving touchdowns. Things aren’t looking any easier as the team’s top receivers from 2022, Brandin Cooks and Chris Moore, will find themselves in different uniforms next season. Still, according to DJ Bien-Aime of ESPN, new head coach DeMeco Ryans appears to be fairly comfortable with how the position is currently lined up.

With veteran leader Cooks just up north in Dallas, Houston will be looking for a former division rival to lead their young group. Playing in another room bereft of star talent last year, Robert Woods looked like a shell of his former self in Nashville. Part of that may have had more to do with the scheme and personnel around him, as he still led the Titans in both receptions and receiving yards, but in 17 games, Woods failed to surpass his total from his final year in Los Angeles, when his season ended after only nine games. Still, Woods is not far removed from some of the best football of his career. Just two years ago, a torn ACL prevented Woods from extending a streak of three consecutive seasons with over 900 receiving yards. From 2018-2020, Woods was dominant with the Rams combining for 3,289 receiving yards and 14 receiving touchdowns, even adding 427 yards and four more scores on the ground.

After the experience of Woods, the Texans will rely on the familiarity of third-year wideout Nico Collins. Collins was fourth on the team in receiving last year behind Cooks, Moore, and tight end Jordan Akins despite putting up similar numbers that had him ranked second on the team as a rookie the year prior. The team hopes he can progress past those numbers in Year 3. He doesn’t need to suddenly become a No. 1 receiver with Woods in town, but Houston will want him to surpass his careers-highs last year of 37 receptions, 481 yards, and two touchdowns.

Rounding out the potential starting three is last year’s second-round pick John Metchie III. Metchie is still waiting to make his NFL debut after sitting out his rookie year after being diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia. The young receiver is now over a year and a half removed from his last meaningful snap of football and has worked his way back from a torn ACL, leukemia, and now a hamstring strain in order to play in the NFL.

Beyond those three, the team’s depth fades quickly. Former Cowboys receiver Noah Brown joins the group after a breakout year in Dallas. Brown performed as a No. 2 receiver for Dallas last year, gaining career-highs in receptions (43), receiving yards (555), and touchdowns (3), after combining for 39 catches for 425 yards and no touchdowns in the four years prior.

After Brown, the team’s depth is unproven. Amari Rodgers returns after starting one game in six appearances last year. Two rookies join him as depth pieces in the receivers room. Nathaniel Dell was drafted in the third-round out of Houston. Dell was dominant for the Cougars as an undersized wide receiver, catching a combined 199 passes for 2,727 yards and 29 touchdowns in his final two collegiate seasons. In the sixth-round, the team added Iowa State’s Xavier Hutchinson, who delivered strong performances in all three years as a Cyclone before bringing his best football last year.

“I’m not concerned with where we are with our wide receivers,” Ryans claimed. “I like our group. I like where we are. We have a lot of talented guys and have a lot of different qualities.”

He’s certainly not wrong there. Collins provides the team with a big, 6-foot-4 body and strong hands. Brown and Hutchinson also bring the group ideal body-types for a wide receiver. Woods and Metchie both sit around six-foot and bring completely different playing styles to the offense. Finally, Dell and Rodgers bring explosiveness in smaller packages.

Ryans can certainly back up his claim of confidence in covering the gamut of receiver-types, but experience remains a concern. On paper, the Texans’ wide receiving corps is ready to provide rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud with an assortment of weapons. In reality, the team will need young players to step up into big roles quickly in 2023 if they’re going to prove wrong position rankings from ESPN’s Bill Barnwell and Pro Football Focus’s Trevor Sikkema, both of whom have the team’s group ranked last in the league.

AFC South Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Metchie

The Colts had Isaiah Rodgers in mind when they traded Stephon Gilmore and let Brandon Facyson defect to the Raiders in free agency. It now looks like Rodgers, currently under investigation for an alleged violation of the NFL’s gambling policy, will not play this season. Three other players — C.J. Moore, Quintez Cephus and Shaka Toney — found to have bet on NFL games received indefinite bans that will cover at least the 2023 season. The Colts did not become aware of the Rodgers investigation until it surfaced recently, Stephen Holder of notes (on Twitter).

Although the Colts did not know about any Rodgers gambling probe during the draft, they chose cornerback Julius Brents in the second round. But the team already had a long-term need at the position, even if Rodgers was part of the 2023 equation. Rodgers, who admitted to some degree of wrongdoing hours after the report of his gambling surfaced, was not at the Colts’ latest OTA session, per Holder. The fourth-year defender had attended Indy voluntary workouts this offseason.

Here is the latest from the AFC South:

  • As the list of AFC teams connected to DeAndre Hopkins expanded again today — via the former All-Pro’s upcoming Titans meeting — the Jaguars do not appear interested. Doug Pederson said (via 1010 AM’s Mia O’Brien) it is “not a reality” for the team to add another receiver piece. This makes sense, as the Jaguars already have their top three receivers tied to notable contracts. The team’s top move for 2023 was adding Calvin Ridley to a receiving corps housing Christian Kirk‘s $18MM-per-year contract and Zay Jones‘ $8MM-AAV deal. Ridley is tied to a $10.9MM fifth-year option, which tolled from 2022 due to his gambling-induced absence.
  • On the subject of re-emerging receivers, the Texans will have to wait a bit longer for John Metchie. While the 2022 second-round pick did some offseason work, he is currently sidelined with a hamstring strain. Metchie suffered the injury during the first phase of Houston’s offseason program, per KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson, who adds a training camp return is expected. Metchie is on his way back from the leukemia diagnosis that sidelined him as a rookie. The Alabama product also has not played since suffering a torn ACL late in the 2021 season.
  • A ruptured Achilles tendon kept Rigoberto Sanchez off the field throughout last season, but the veteran Colts punter is back at work. Sanchez is punting again, per the Indianapolis Star, though he has yet to participate in a Colts workout. The team is ramping up its seventh-year punter, who sustained the injury to his punting leg in practice just before last season. Sanchez, who has also served as Indy’s kickoff man, is entering the final season of his four-year, $11.6MM contract. Sanchez, 28, is the only punter on Indianapolis’ roster.

Texans WR John Metchie Participating In Offseason Program

The draft was the source of many significant developments for the Texans, but another one also took place last week. Receiver John Metchie III made his long-awaited return to the practice field after battling both injury and health concerns in 2022.

Metchie missed his entire rookie campaign after being diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia in July, something which happened amidst his recovery from a torn ACL in his final college game. That understandably led to questions about his playing future, but Metchie has continued to make progress for several months. He is now set to take part in spring workouts in preparation of his NFL debut.

The 22-year-old Canadian put himself on the draft radar with a pair of productive seasons at Alabama in 2020 and ’21. Across that span, he totaled 151 catches, 2,058 yards and 14 touchdowns, helping the Crimson Tide to the national title game in his junior campaign; it was during that contest that he tore his ACL. The injury didn’t cause much a slide down the draft board, though, as Metchie was selected in the second round by the Texans.

“Nobody’s worked harder over the last however many months to get himself to this point,” general manager Nick Caserio said, via ESPN’s DJ Bien-Aime“So I wouldn’t say anybody is surprised that he’s arrived at this point… There are a lot of people that deserve a lot of credit that helped get to this point, starting with John. I’ll say it’s kind of inspiring to see somebody see that.”

Houston’s OTAs begin on May 22, and they will represent another signficant milestone in Metchie’s ongoing return to full health. He will look to compete for a place in the WR pecking order on a team which has made a few additions at the position in free agency (including Robert Woods) and selected a pair of rookies (third-rounder Nathaniel Dell and sixth-rounder Xavier Hutchinson) in the draft. The Texans’ offense will look different given those new pieces in the receiving corps, along with No. 2 pick C.J. Stroud at quarterback. Metchie’s ability to regain his college form with the team’s new signal-caller could go a long way in determining their individual and collective success in the short- and long-term future, provided his recovery continues as planned.

“He’s making progress,” Caserio added. “He’s in a good spot. You could have been any setbacks, but you know, [there’s] still a long road ahead of us. We had played a lot of football, but we’re all certainly cautiously optimistic about where he’s at.”

Texans WR John Metchie III Making Strides In Recovery

Rookie second-round pick John Metchie III knew he faced a long road to his NFL debut after tearing his ACL in last year’s SEC title game. Little did he know he would be faced with a much larger challenge as he prepared for his big return. Metchie’s diagnosis of Acute Promyelocytic Luekemia would hold him out of training camp, the preseason, and his entire rookie season. Fortunately, the long road appears to be winding down as Texans general manager Nick Caserio announced that Metchie has made “amazing” progress, according to Texans TV Host Drew Dougherty.

Caserio hinted that Metchie’s return could come as soon as April. “I’d say there’s a chance that he’ll be ready for the start of the offseason program,” Caserio told Seth Payne and Sean Pendergast on SportRadio 610 this week. Since the Texans, who fired Lovie Smith this week, will have a new head coach in 2023, they will get to begin their offseason conditioning program two weeks before teams with returning head coaches. That means Metchie could be back working out with the team as soon as April 3.

“I think there are still some things that he has to complete or go through,” Caserio continued. “Quite frankly, it’s amazing what he’s done to this point…He actually looks better now than he did when we drafted him in the spring. 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.”

While Metchie had originally described his APL as the most curable form of the disease in the statement announcing his diagnosis, it’s still great news to hear that he’s coming back on the other side of it stronger than he started. After a long, hard road, Metchie’s NFL debut is back on track.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/23/22

Tuesday marked the day teams were forced to cut down from 85 to 80 players. Here are the moves teams made made to reach the new maximum. Players who land on the reserve/PUP or reserve/NFI list must miss at least the first four regular-season games.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/24/22

Here are today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Sloter just took a visit with the Jaguars on Saturday, and he did enough to land a contract. He has been a member of a number of NFL practice squads since signing with the Broncos as a UDFA in 2017, but he has yet to appear in a regular season NFL game. In nine starts for the USFL’s New Orleans Breakers in 2022, he was not especially impressive, completing 57.7% of his passes for 1,798 yards while throwing only nine touchdowns against 11 interceptions. With three other QBs on the Jacksonville roster, Sloter appears to be simply replacing Perry as a camp body at this point.

Texans WR John Metchie III To Miss 2022 Season

Texans wide receiver John Metchie III, a second-round rookie, will miss the 2022 season, but it has nothing to do with the torn ACL he suffered in this year’s SEC title game. Unfortunately, the Alabama product has been diagnosed with leukemia.

Metchie released a statement indicating that the diagnosis is Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia, which he says is the most curable form of the disease. He added that he is in good spirits and expects to make a full recovery, but that he will not be playing football this year.

Although the Texans knew that the ACL tear would quite possibly force Metchie to miss time in his rookie campaign, it was expected that he would be able to suit up at some point this season. Indeed, the club was comfortable enough with his medicals to trade away pick nos. 68, 108, and 124 to move up the board and nab Metchie with the No. 44 overall selection.

In 13 games in his final collegiate season, Metchie posted 96 receptions for 1,142 yards and eight scores. Whenever he was medically cleared, he was expected to serve as Houston’s primary slot receiver and as a high-upside weapon for second-year QB Davis Mills. At present, the Texans’ WR depth chart is topped by Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins, but the options behind those two are fairly uninspiring.

Now, Metchie and Houston can only hope that 2023 will bring better fortune. We here at PFR wish Metchie the best in his recovery.

Texans Finish Signing 2022 Draft Class

The Texans wrapped up their nine-man draft class today when they were able to reach an agreement with third-round pick Christian Harris. The Power Five-heavy class includes a plethora of Day 1 and 2 picks and brings home three Houston-natives in guard Kenyon Green, safety Jalen Pitre, and offensive lineman Austin Deculus

The Texans started their haul with four selections in the 2022 NFL Draft’s first 44 picks. Their first addition was cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., who will immediately improve a group that currently includes Steven Nelson, Lonnie Johnson Jr., and Desmond King II. The Texans’ secondary struggled greatly at times last year, and defensive-coordinator-turned-head-coach Lovie Smith decided that addressing that weakness was a top priority. Their addition of Pitre in the second round further addresses that need. While listed as a safety, Pitre spent the majority of his career with the Bears in the slot. Whether at safety or slot cornerback, Pitre is a strong addition alongside Stingley to a struggling defense.

Green was the next selection, midway through the first round, and his ability to play on the inside of the line should allow Houston to establish Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard at the tackle positions. The later addition of the swing tackle, Deculus, continued the Texans’ efforts at improving the protection in front of second-year quarterback Davis Mills.

In terms of weapons for Mills, after extending leading receiver Brandin Cooks, Houston added another weapon in slot receiver John Metchie III. The Alabama alum tore his ACL in December, but is assumed to be ready to return to the field sometime this summer.

From there, Houston added linebacker Christian Harris, who is a menace in opposing teams’ backfields. They followed that by addressing a league-worst 3.4 yards per rush and 8 rushing touchdowns by bringing in Gator running back Dameon Pierce. Thomas Booker adds some depth to the defensive line. Teagan Quitoriano will compete to back up second-year tight end Brevin Jordan with Pharaoh Brown and Antony Auclair.

Here are the draft picks the Texans will take into camps this summer:

Round 1: No. 3 Derek Stingley Jr., CB (LSU) (signed)
Round 1: No. 15 Kenyon Green, G (Texas A&M) (signed)
Round 2: No. 37 Jalen Pitre, S (Baylor) (signed)
Round 2: No. 44 John Metchie III, WR (Alabama) (signed)
Round 3: No. 75 Christian Harris, LB (Alabama) (signed)
Round 4: No. 107 Dameon Pierce, RB (Florida) (signed)
Round 5: No. 150 Thomas Booker, DT (Stanford) (signed)
Round 5: No. 170 Teagan Quitoriano, TE (Oregon State) (signed)
Round 6: No. 205 Austin Deculus, OL (LSU) (signed)