By Matt Hammond, SportsRadio 610By Matt Hammond

HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) —¬†Injuries have hit the Houston Texans hard this season, landing Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus and 11 others on injured reserve.

But it’s been a problem throughout the NFL.

With the way that players are going down, and replacements have to fill in, could the sport benefit from a developmental league?

Bill O’Brien thinks so.

“There’s a lot of that that makes sense,” O’Brien said. “When they had the World League a few years ago, that season took place during basically the NFL offseason. That was a good thing, because you could send, let’s just say, a young quarterback over there, and he could get some reps over there against decent competition.”

O’Brien is referring to the World League of American Football, which was founded in 1991 and continued until 2007.

The League, sort of a cross between the NBA’s G-League and UEFA’s Champions league, featured teams in as many as six countries (Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the Untied States) and held games in the spring, giving NFL teams the opportunity to groom young talent.

With that now gone, teams don’t have the same luxury.

Given the way that injuries have crippled NFL teams, and with TV ratings sagging for a variety of reasons, it might be time for the NFL to consider investing in a similar developmental league.

O’Brien said developing players should always be a priority.

“With my background in coaching, professional or college coaching, I think a lot of this is about the improvement and the development of young players. Veteran players, too. But I think any way that we can find to be able to spend more time with our players would be beneficial to everybody in football, I believe.”


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