HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) — With the way the Houston Texans have suffered injuries this season, it begs the question:
Is there anything more they could be doing to keep guys healthy?
According to Bill O’Brien, that’s easier said than done.
“I think that’s a very tall task for us as coaches and strength coaches,” he said on Thursday.
“I think that with the time off that these guys have when the season ends, they’re basically gone away from us for almost four months, three-and-a-half months, and we’re not allowed to really talk to them. It’s a ridiculous rule. I’m sorry. It’s part of the CBA that I have no agreement on, and hopefully when the CBA comes up for review again they’ll change these things because they ask us to develop players and how are we supposed to do that when for four months out of the year we can’t even see them, can’t even talk to them, can’t text them, can’t call them, can’t meet with them. When they’re in the building, we can’t even talk football with them. If they want to come in here and lift on their own, they can’t even get conditioned by our coaching staff. Our players, when they want to throw in the offseason, when they’re not here for offseason program, they can’t even throw passes to each other on our practice field. They have to go the University of Houston, Strake (Jesuit College Preparatory), other high schools to find places to throw. Think about that. And then, people want us to have these guys in shape and all those other things.”
Injuries have been an issue for every NFL team, but the Texans have been hit especially hard, losing Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus, D’Onta Foreman and 10 others for the year.
Their 14 players on IR are tied for fourth-most in the NFL.
But their control over that is limited, O’Brien said, given some of the collectively bargained rules that govern offseason workouts.
“Our guys are great,” he said. “They come back in shape, they do a lot of good things in the offseason. But our job is really once they get here is to coach them as good as we can on the short time that we have them here.”