The Jets continue to look crueler and dumber in their feud with Kelechi Osemele. The left guard spent weeks begging the team to approve a procedure to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder and decided to have it without their blessing on Friday, after an independent doctor he consulted recommended immediate surgery. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saturday that Osemele’s surgery was successful, but that the damage to his shoulder “was more extensive than anticipated.” As a result, Osemele’s agents told Schefter that Osemele and the NFL Players’ Association are now considering taking action legal against the Jets’ team doctor for violations of state medical board regulations.
Update (3:34 p.m. EDT): The Jets have released Osemele.
Osemele told press Wednesday that he had been on conference calls with the NFLPA to discuss strategy after the Jets did not respond to his decision to undergo surgery. On Thursday, the NFLPA released a statement in support of Osemele. “Our union supports every player’s right to a second medical opinion, workers’ compensation and the best medical care,” the statement says. “It is not appropriate or ethical for employers in any line of work to dictate the medical care and treatment of any employee. We are considering all options to protect Kelechi Osemele, as we would for any of our members.”
Osemele, acquired from the Oakland Raiders in the offseason, played the first three games of this season, and said the team gave him injections of the painkiller Toradol to play through the pain. Osemele told press on Wednesday that the team wanted him “to keep taking Toradol and brace it up,” believing the injury to be a pre-existing condition he could play through.
ESPN’s Rich Cimini reported Friday that Osemele’s failure to show up at the team facility while he was having surgery in Boston was deemed an unexcused absence by the Jets, who are fining him his entire game check of $579,000 per week for conduct detrimental to the team. This afternoon, Osemele was finally downgraded to out for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars on the team’s injury report; he had been previously listed as “doubtful.”