Patriots Rookie Marcus Cannon Beats Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Returns to Football


There’s something very extraordinary about New England Patriots offensive lineman Marcus Cannon, who practiced Tuesday for the first time this season.

Cannon, a fifth-round pick out of TCU, found out he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (strains of which are some of the deadliest cancers out there) just days before the NFL Draft last April. He was considered a second-round prospect prior to the news of his illness. So the situation caused his draft stock to drop a few rounds, and for him to lose out on some money.

I know the feeling of having something like that derail your life right when you’re trying to establish it. I battled and defeated Hodgkin’s disease (a very similar form of lymphoma) twice between the age of 22 and 25; close to Cannon’s age.

Shocking coincidental, another major sport athlete who conquered Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Jon Lester of the Boston Red Sox plays in the same town as Cannon. Remember this fact about Lester before you get all preachy about his drinking beer in the dugout.

One of the scariest things about lymphoma is the way it emaciates you. I normally go about 178-185 lbs, but was whittled down to 154 (and size 29 pants) when I got sick the first time. Cannon, who played tackle in college but might convert to guard in the NFL, has job that’s all about bulk; acquiring it and keeping it.

According to NESN:

“Cannon can practice for up to three weeks before the Patriots must decide to either promote him to the active roster or place him on injured reserve.”

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio shows all across the world. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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