Houston Texans Executive VP and General Manager Rick Smith announced on Sunday that he is taking an extended leave of absence to care for his wife after a diagnosis of breast cancer.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) December 31, 2017
“I have chosen to take an extended leave of absence to focus my attention on my wife’s complete recovery from her recent diagnosis of breast cancer,” Smith said in his statement. “We are faithful and trust in God’s promise of healing and Wholeness.”
Smith said in a press conference on Monday that he will take an entire year off with the hopes of returning next January.
“It makes sense to just have a complete year that we just take off so whoever is fulfilling all of those roles and responsibilities has the freedom to do that,” Smith said. “Those things are still being discussed.”
Smith’s wife, Tiffany, was diagnosed with breast cancer in late September and has been receiving treatment in Arizona.
“When we got the diagnosis, we had a meeting and I [told the football operations staff], listen, I am going to be distracted, and I know that that’s the case,” Smith said. “That’s just human nature. And so I am going to need you to step up your game in whatever your roles are so that we can continue to operate.”
Smith was hired by the Texans as their General Manager in 2006 and then added Vice President of Football Operations to his title in 2012.