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Texans safety Andre Hal diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma

Hal signed a 3-year extension with the Texans before the 2017 season. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Houston Texans safety Andre Hal announced on Friday that he has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. Hal was first diagnosed by the team physician, and is now seeking testing and treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center. The Texans safety was drafted by the team with the first pick of the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Hal had two interceptions and two forced fumbles last season for Houston, and started all 16 games. Andre released a statement on Friday.

 “My faith in God and the support from my family, friends, teammates and coaches will see me through this difficult time. I will not let this diagnosis stop me from fulfilling my dreams and I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me. I know how to beat this and I will beat it.”

Head coach Bill O'Brien released a statement about Hal's diagnosis.

“The news of Andre Hal’s diagnosis weighs heavy on the hearts of everyone in the Houston Texans family. Andre epitomizes what it means to be a Houston Texan through his leadership, community involvement and team-first attitude. We are confident that Andre’s resiliency and infectious positivity, along with treatment and care from the best medical community in the world, will guide him through his recovery. The entire Texans organization is behind Andre and his family during this difficult time and we look forward to his eventual return to the team.”

The Texans signed safety Tyrann Mathieu this offseason and drafted safety Justin Reid out of Stanford with their first draft pick which was in the third round due to the Brock Osweiler trade, and the Texans moving up in the 2017 NFL Draft to select QB Deshaun Watson.  Perhaps the team knew Hal was dealing with some health issues, and brought in more depth at the position this offseason. It's also possible that Reid was drafted simply because he was the best player on the board, and happened to fall all the way to the third round. 

The McNair family also released a statement.

“We are saddened to learn of Andre’s diagnosis. Andre is tough and faithful and we believe he is prepared to win this fight. The McNair family as well as the entire Texans organization will continue to be there for him, love and support him, and pray for his recovery.” 

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The Astros will look to bounce back after a tough week. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images.

After a 6-3 record to start the season, the Houston Astros had a tumultuous week to say the least. They were swept by the Tigers, lost 2 of 3 games to the Seattle Mariners and placed five players on the COVID injured list.

The Tigers' new manager AJ Hinch returned to Minute Maid Park for the first time since the Astros let him go after the cheating scandal in early 2020.

The Tigers swept the Astros and outscored them 20-8 over their three matchups.

Before the 3rd game of the series, the Astros found out they would be without five players on their active roster. Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado and Robel Garcia were all placed on the COVID-19 injury reserved list.

"It's hard on the team but you have to carry on. The show must go on," manager Dusty Baker said. "And it went on today with some younger players we have here."

Garrett Stubbs, Taylor Jones and Abraham Toro were called up as well as Alex De Goti and Ronnie Dawson who made their major league debuts last week.

The Tigers were able to score runs early on Zack Greinke, Lance McCullers and Jake Odorizzi (who made his Astros debut) and none of these starters lasted more than five innings in the outings.

Yuli Gurriel was the one Astros bright spot against the Tigers as he had 7 hits and drove in 2 runs. He is still continuing to hit the ball consistently as he finished the series with a .429 batting average.

After a 1-5 home stand the Astros looked to bounce back on the road against the division leading Seattle Mariners (you read that correctly).

Friday night proved to be the Astros' best offensive performance since their home opener on April 8th against the A's.

They scored five runs on Yusei Kikuchi through 7 innings behind good hitting from Aledmys Diaz, Chas McCormick and De Goti who drove in two runs on his first major league hit.

The Astros had a 5-2 lead at this point, but Seattle was able to score 4 unanswered to win the game.

Bryan Abreu, Blake Taylor and Ryne Stanek were credited with those four runs.

Ryan Pressly tried to clean up the bottom of the 9th inning after Stanek put the first two batters on base. His effort was unsuccessfully as Ty France hit a game-ending single that scored J.P. Crawford from second to secure a Mariners victory.

Saturday was the best game of the week for the Astros as they finally broke their six-game losing streak.

After failing to pitch more than five innings on Monday against the Tigers, Zack Greinke threw eight shutout innings with 91 pitches.

He struck out six batters and gave up only 4 hits.

"That's what aces do," Astros manager Dusty Baker said. "Guys like (Greinke) ... they stop the bleeding and we're about bled out."

Greinke finished the game with 2,705 career strikeouts. He is now third amongst active players in strikeouts behind Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander.

Ryan Pressly got some redemption too as he threw a perfect 9th inning giving him his first save of the year.

The Astros won this game 1-0 as Taylor Jones drove in the game's only run with an RBI single.

Sunday's game ended the Astros week with a whimper, as the Mariners bested Houston 7-2.

Jake Odorizzi got off to a good start, but he gave up three hits and was pulled after Mitch Haniger's fifth-inning triple made it a 3-2 lead over the Astros.

Odorizzi is now (0-2) with a 10.57 ERA after two starts with the Astros.

Houston's offensive woes continued Sunday, as Aledmys Díaz had their only hit, an RBI double in the second inning that fell in when outfielder José Marmolejos lost the ball in the sun.

"It's tough to take when you only got one hit and the one hit we got was lost in the sun," Baker said.

UP NEXT: The Astros (7-8) will finish their road trip with a two game series against the Rockies who have the worst record in the league (4-12) before starting an eight-game homestead.

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