Jalen Camp pays tribute to John Metchie III with TD celebration

It was an emotional moment for the Texans' wide receivers, and it was set in motion with a plan to honor rookie John Metchie III.

As the Texans wide receiver battles a curable form of leukemia, Camp delivered a convincing rendition of Metchie's trademark touchdown celebration Saturday night against the New Orleans Saints.

A second-round draft pick from Alabama diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia in July, Metchie would pose in the end zone with a Karate Kid crank kick after his touchdowns for the Crimson Tide.

It was a planned celebration as the Texans' wide receivers wanted to pay tribute to Metchie during his battle with leukemia. The first wide receiver to score a touchdown would carry out the celebration to honor Metchie, and the moment went to Camp.

"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 Monday at NRG Stadium. "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.”

"All the the guys in the receiving room decided that the very first touchdown that we had was going to be the crane celebration for Metchie for everything that he's going through and just pay homage.”

Of course, Metchie was watching. And Metchie, who delivered an emotional video message to the team before the first practice of camp, approved wholeheartedly of what Camp did. 

“Yes, sir, it was all good feedback," Camp said. "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. He didn't critique it. I don't think I did it as well as he does it, but I think he was definitely appreciative of it."

As Metchie deals with a serious medical diagnosis that will likely cost him his entire rookie season, he is not alone.

He's talking frequently with teammates and coaches and remaining a part of a team that's been extremely supportive of him.

"He's a part of us really every day," receivers coach and passing game coordinator Ben McDaniels said. "We try to support him in every way at all times. He and I are in contact on a regular basis. I'm thinking and praying for him daily. He's a part of it from afar in some ways, but his positivity and spirit as he attacks something really difficult is really admirable."

Metchie was expected to have a central role in the Texans' offense this season. Although sidelined, he's provided inspiration to his teammates with his courage and attitude. 

“It was heartwarming," Texans cornerback Tremon Smith said. "I felt for him. I just feel bad for Metchie. I wish he was out there playing with us because he would have been a big part of this season this year. I heard it's the most curable, so I just pray for him.”

Aaron Wilson is a Pro Football Network reporter and a contributor to Sports Talk 790.

New Orleans Saints v Houston Texans

Photo: Getty Images

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