Texans' Quessenberry makes emotional return after three-year absence
David Quessenberry played his first NFL game in 1,441 days following a battle with cancer.
It may have just been preseason, but emotions were high in David Quessenberry's return.
The Houston Texans offensive lineman took the field at Bank of America Stadium against the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday and played his first game in three years following a battle with non-Hodgkin T-lymphoblastic lymphoma.
Now cancer-free, Quessenberry could not wait to get back to work and was further surprised to see his family in Carolina to show their support during his anticipated comeback.
"I was nervous for about three days leading up to this," Quessenberry said. "It was probably the most nervous I've been for a football game in my life.
"Before the game, I got really emotional when I saw some of my family out there on the sideline. But once the first play started, it was back to football."
Quessenberry, who has been on Houston's non-football illness list since 2015, finished his last round of chemotherapy in April just in time for organised team activities. He got even more emotional while discussing the support he has received from his squad throughout his treatment.
"Before the game, I was just thinking about how long it's been," he added. "It was perfect. [My team-mates] know everything I've been through. They see me go through chemo. They see me with no hair. And to be back in that jersey, it was really big."
Texans coach Bill O'Brien praised Quessenberry's efforts after his extensive journey.
"To come from where he's come from, it's just incredible that he just played in an NFL football game," O'Brien said. "I'm telling you, you just think about that. All that he's been through. How special he is to this organisation. To be able to go out there and play in an NFL game is a pretty big deal."