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Texans Rookie WR John Metchie III Will Play In 2022, No Timetable On Return

There is no timetable on when John Metchie III will return to play, but the Houston Texans are expecting to have their rookie wide receiver on the field at some point during the season.

HOUSTON — John Metchie III was one of nine players drafted by the Houston Texans who were present during Day 1 of rookie minicamp. But unlike his peers who were participating in full swing on the Houston Methodist Training Center practice field, Metchie spent the bulk of practice working out on the sidelines

Metchie's lite training was due to his continuous rehabilitation process following an ACL injury sustained in December.

Metchie views his injury as a minor career bump. He began taking part in football activities before the draft. And in the words of Metchie, "It's full-go football" by the start of training camp.

Coach Lovie Smith announced that Metchie's health is not at 100 percent. But Smith reassured that the Texans anticipate that the rookie wide receiver from Alabama will play during the 2022 campaign. 

John Metchie III
John Metchie III
John Metchie III

"We’re in the process of seeing exactly when John would be ready to go," Smith said on Friday. "Eventually, he will be ready. There’s a lot that he can do before that. I don’t have that timetable set yet. But in the upcoming weeks, we’ll be able to tell that a little bit more. 

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"For us, he is going to play this year. It’s all, as much as anything, about the mental preparation — him catching up and getting in the playbook."

Metchie suffered a torn ACL injury during the 2021 NCAA Championship Game on Dec. 4 — where Alabama fell 33-18 to the Georgia Bulldogs. 

He was a consensus first-round pick heading into the 2022 NFL Draft. The Houston Texans traded up to take Metchie in the second round at pick no. 44. General manager Nick Caserio said Houston's medical staff played a significant role in the draft selection of Metchie. 

During his final season at Alabama, Metchie recorded a career-best 96 catches for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns. He received second-team All-SEC honors following the end of the 2021 season.