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San Francisco 49ers assistant takes leave to battle cancer

Veteran NFL assistant coach Johnny Holland revealed his cancer diagnosis and need for treatment Monday in a statement.

Johnny Holland, who has more than 30 years' experience as both a player and assistant coach in the NFL, is taking a leave of absence from his post with the San Francisco 49ers in order to undergo treatment for cancer.

Holland, a former Texas A&M standout who played seven years in the league and has spent the past 26 years as an assistant coach in pro ball, made the announcement Monday – 13 days before the Niners' opener at Detroit Sept. 12.

“It has been an emotional few years for my family,” Holland said in a statement. “In September of 2019, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and have gone through several rounds of remission and relapse.

“Unfortunately, the cancer has returned and beginning Sept. 6, I will take some time away from the team to receive treatment.”

Holland has coached linebackers in San Francisco since 2017; he also has NFL stops with the Green Bay Packers, his first NFL coaching job as well as the franchise where he spent all seven years of his playing career, as well as the Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans, Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns.

Additionally, Holland coached in the Canadian Football League for both the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the BC Lions.