Kelechi Osemele’s ongoing battle with the New York Jets took another turn Wednesday, as the injured offensive lineman told reporters Jets GM Joe Douglas admitted the team sent doctors blank MRIs of Osemele’s shoulder. Douglas called the mishap “an honest mistake.”
Osemele has sat out the last three games with a torn labrum and refused to practice. He will undergo surgery on Friday after receiving a third opinion on his labrum, which doctors say is torn off the bone. The Jets have not approved the surgery, but Osemele says he plans to go under the knife anyway to be ready for the start of next season. The procedure entails a four-to-six-month recovery and would end his season.
The Jets fined Osemele for conduct detrimental to the team on Saturday when he refused to practice, and Osemele said he has filed a grievance with the NFLPA against the team for fining him the maximum amount possible for each day he misses practice. Osemele also said he hasn’t spoken to Jets head coach Adam Gase in weeks and referred to the situation as “slightly disrespectful.”
Osemele and the Jets initially butted heads over whether the 30-year-old guard should continue playing through the torn labrum. The team designated it a pre-existing condition and believe surgery can wait until after the season, when they are free to cut the offensive lineman.
Osemele has made three starts in three games for the Jets this season after being traded from the Raiders. He is in the first year of a two-year deal with the team and is slated to make $9.7 million in base salary in 2019. Osemele was injured against the Patriots on September 22.
The Jets (1-5) visit the Jaguars (3-4) on Sunday.