September 26, 2018 / 6:44 PM / 8 months ago

Texans safety Hal's cancer in remission

Houston Texans safety Andre Hal’s cancer is in remission, the team’s physician said Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Nov 22, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans strong safety Andre Hal (29) makes the interception during the second half of a game against the against the New York Jets at NRG Stadium. Houston won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images/File Photo

Hal was diagnosed in May with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He underwent a series of aggressive treatments at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, team doctor James Muntz said in a statement.

“This is the best-case scenario that you could imagine,” said Geoff Kaplan, the Texans’ senior director of sports medicine and head athletic trainer, at a news conference on Wednesday. “He has had a remarkable, remarkable response to the medication that he was on.”

Texans coach Bill O’Brien shared his happiness about the news.

“He has been a leader for us,” O’Brien said. “He has just been an unbelievable guy in this organization. Dre never wavered in his belief that he would beat it, and he has.”

Hal, 26, started for the Texans the past three seasons after joining the team in 2014 as a seventh-round draft pick from Vanderbilt. He has registered 176 tackles and nine interceptions with Houston.

“I just made sure I did everything I could to beat this,” Hal said. “I never stopped working out. I was obsessed. I just want to get back on the field.”

Hal said he has not yet been cleared by doctors to play, but he intends to.

“I didn’t do chemo because I didn’t want to miss this year,” Hal said. “I wanted to play this year. I don’t think people really thought I was going to come back and play, but I knew in my heart that I wanted to come back and play.”

He also issued a statement on Twitter to thanks his doctors, teammates and others.

Kaplan said a return in 2018 is not unrealistic.

“I think everything is on the table,” Kaplan said. “We’re just taking it a day at a time, a week at a time like he has done through this whole process. He has been incredible.”

Hal has two role models to show him a return is possible.

In June 2014, former Texans tackle David Quessenberry, now with the Tennessee Titans, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry was also diagnosed with the same cancer later that year and came back to play.

—Field Level Media

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