Tuesday was a banner day for Houston Texans offensive lineman David Quessenberry, who returned to the playing field for the first time since being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014.
Quessenberry, 26, finished his final chemotherapy treatment in early April and celebrated by not only ringing a symbolic bell at his treatment center — but also knocking the thing clear off the wall.
Now Quessenberry is back on the practice field alongside his Texans teammates. He has been an honorary captain and a source of inspiration for many of his teammates. It’s incredible to think how far he has come, via ESPN, when at his worst he “felt like the furthest thing from a football player — no hair, skinny — but your body is an amazing thing.”
The 2013 sixth-round pick from San Jose State has never played in a regular-season NFL game after missing his entire rookie season with a foot injury and then spending the past two years battling cancer. He last appeared in a preseason game prior to the 2013 season, after which the Texans waived him, but Quessenberry returned to the roster after being placed on the the non-football illness list. But the fact remains that he has outlasted most of his fellow 2013 draft class members with the team.
Quessenberry hoped to return for the 2015 season but had a setback that required a round of chemo following his radiation treatment. Now he said “it feels amazing” to try to play again and that he feels “stronger, both physically and mentally” in his quest to get back into a game and ultimately make the Texans’ roster. He has an uphill battle ahead of him, but Quessenberry plans to reward the franchise that has been extremely supportive of his efforts to get well and reach his goals.
“This organization has had my back since day one,” Quessenberry said in early April. “That alone is something that’s rare to find and it’s something that’s very special. That’s what makes this such an awesome place to come into and work every day, knowing that they care about me as a football player and as a person.”
If Quessenberry remains on the roster and can stay healthy, his return to the field could happen in the Texans’ preseason opener at the Carolina Panthers on Aug. 9.
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