I really don’t look at myself as a defensive end or a linebacker or a cornerback or a safety.

When you turn on the film, you can’t tell that I have asthma. I’m at my best when people are depending on me. If it’s just on me and I don’t have nothing to do, I’m going to be lazy. On the football field, it’s every single day, every play, knowing that people are depending on me to make my play. That helps me elevate my game to another level.

Oh man, tearing my ACL in 2013 was one of the toughest parts of my football career. I was coming off a six-game suspension too [for violating the league’s substance abuse policy], and there was a whole lot of doubt and uncertainty. For the most part, it was just me and my mom in Pensacola, Florida I couldn’t drive, so she would take me to rehab, she’d bring me back home, feed me. And it was just me and her everyday. It was at that moment where I was like, I’m never going to be back here. There’s nothing worse than looking at an article and seeing: Von Miller tore his ACL, plus he’s coming off suspension. And when he played this year he wasn’t looking the same he did as the year before. Is he ever going to be able to be the same? I’m 24 years old and people think my best years are past me! [laughs] It was definitely a tough, trying time.

Even though I’m a defensive player, I throw 100 balls every day and catch 100 balls. I’m trying to go through the whole motion like Peyton Manning does. I try to be great at everything. I try to show them that I can run, I can pass, I try to get out there early and do all that stuff. I like to show the coaches that I can play offense and defense. But our offense, we’ve got a team full of killers over there… but if they need me, I’m ready to go!

A seventh-round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2014, Hal has been a starter for most of the past three seasons, intercepting nine passes and making 155 tackles in that stretch.

From a lineup perspective, Houston seems to be well positioned to withstand Hal’s absence after signing veteran safety Tyrann Mathieu in free agency before taking Stanford’s Justin Reid in the third round of the draft.

But Hal’s battle will certainly be a galvanizing factor in the locker room until his expected return.

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, said coach Bill O’Brien.

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