Texans safety Andre Hal is active vs. the Jaguars, weeks after beating Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Hal’s cancer went into remission, and he’s slated to play in Week 7.

Andre Hal beat cancer in 2018. By comparison, reading Blake Bortles’ passes from the Texans’ secondary should be easy.

Hal is a part of Houston’s active roster Sunday, marking his return to the field after spending much of the offseason fighting Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It’s a best-case scenario comeback for the Texans’ starting safety; he specifically eschewed chemotherapy treatments in order to set up his return in 2018. He’d missed the first six weeks of the season while fighting off the illness and then regaining his strength after the battle of his life.

And now he returns just in time to add some extra punch to a Houston squad in the thick of the AFC South race at 3-3.

How did Hal get back to the field?

Back in June, the Houston Texans announced starting safety Andre Hal had been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. On Wednesday, team doctor James Muntz announced some great news — Hal’s cancer has gone into remission.

Hal was informed his Hodgkin lymphoma had gone into remission last Tuesday. The veteran defender attributed the hard work and faith that turned him from a potential training camp casualty to a seasoned starter as the catalyst behind his recovery.

“I never stopped working out,” Hal told reporters Wednesday. “I was obsessed. I just want to get back on the field.

“I just made sure I did everything I could to beat this.”

What does this mean for the Texans?

Hal was a homegrown success story in Houston. The former All-SEC performer from Vanderbilt was a seventh-round flier for the franchise in 2014, but he quickly developed into a dependable piece of the Texans’ secondary. He ascended into a starting role in 2015 and held that spot the past three seasons, giving the team above-average play in center field while hauling in nine interceptions.

Houston rewarded him with a three-year, $15 million contract in 2017, then had to scramble to find his replacement after his lymphoma diagnosis this summer. But while Hal may be coming off the battle of his life, it may not cost him the entirety of the 2018 season.

Hal specifically avoided chemotherapy in hopes of being able to return in 2018. If he’s healthy enough to make his comeback this fall, he’ll boost a Texans secondary that currently ranks 31st in the league in opponent passer efficiency. Pairing him with new addition Tyrann Mathieu would give the club an intimidating last line of defense — and allow an overtaxed Kareem Jackson to slide back to cornerback.

But Wednesday’s news is bigger than football. Hal showed off courage, strength, and resiliency to fight back against a disease that threatened to take more than just his career. The fact he’s not just surviving but thriving is wonderful. The chance he could still find a way to play in 2018 is incredible.