FOXBORO, Mass. — Marcus Cannon has managed to keep his spirits high after a deflating set of circumstances before the draft.
The 6-foot-5, 358-pound TCU offensive lineman underwent his first chemotherapy treatment for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma on Thursday, just two days before the Patriots selected him in the fifth round of the NFL draft. Once viewed as a solid second-round prospect who had an outside chance to creep into the first round, the revelations of Cannon's illness ruined his draft stock.
"It's not disappointing," Cannon said. "It's just something that I have to go through. God wouldn't have put this on my plate if it was something I couldn't have handled. I knew this was going to happen. I was going to have to talk about this the whole time. If that's what you all want to know, that's OK. Me and my family are here celebrating. We can care less about the other part. Right now, we're just really happy that I'm going to be in the NFL."
Cannon was diagnosed with a benign tumor in his pelvic area in 2006 and, because of that, one team ordered a biopsy two months ago at the combine. Cannon said he understood the team's concern, so he wanted to go through with it.
"I had a biopsy done before in 2006," Cannon said. "I was OK with having it. Anything to show that I was going to be OK or to find out what was wrong with me, I was going to do that."
Unfortunately, the biopsy revealed the unsettling result, but one report indicated Cannon had a 90 percent chance to make a full recovery, and he'll finish his treatments at the end of June.
"I feel awesome," Cannon said Saturday. "I haven't had any of the symptoms of my treatment that I'm supposed to have. Everything has been feeling good."
If everything goes perfectly, the possibility remains that Cannon could participate in New England's training camp, providing it begins on time. Although, Cannon didn't want to make any speculations about the process, especially considering the fact that he's still in its infant stages.
"If everything shows up right, you don't know what is going to happen," said Cannon, who could play tackle or guard. "That would be awesome [if I could participate in training camp], but I'm just taking my treatment day by day. Whenever I'm done with my treatment is when I get to go play football."