The Jets are still hemming and hawing about authorizing a surgery offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele says he needs to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Wednesday, Osemele said he’ll have the surgery Friday, whether the team authorizes it or not. Osemele, who cited the recommendations of two outside specialists last week, now says he has a third opinion from a doctor who recommends immediate surgery on the injury, which is “pretty bad” and has escalated to the point that the labrum is “torn off the bone.” (Ick!)
Last week, the Jets threatened to fine the left guard for conduct detrimental to the team if he didn’t participate in practice on Saturday, which they did after he didn’t. Osemele told reporters he’s being fined his entire game check, $579,000 per week, the maximum allowed under the collective bargaining agreement.
The Jets reportedly believe Osemele can delay surgery until the offseason and consider the labrum tear a pre-existing condition from his time with the Oakland Raiders. When Osemele last spoke with press Friday, the Jets had not released the requisite workers’ compensation paperwork; Osemele says they have now. Osemele’s agents also told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the Jets’ insurance provider has approved the surgery. Still, the Jets had not responded to Osemele’s plans to have surgery Friday. Osemele says he spoke with the NFLPA Monday to discuss strategy for when the Jets do respond.
“They sent the worker’s compensation forms that I needed to get the surgery, so things are moving forward and I think they’re doing their best to do the right thing,” Osemele told reporters. “Now that they’ve done that, it’s really their decision whether they choose to authorize it or not. I mean, I’ve got to take care of my body. I’ve got to take care of my health.”
Osemele said the Jets initially sent a blank MRI and then the wrong MRI to one of his doctors before finally correcting the error. Jets GM Joe Douglas told Osemele it was an honest mistake, but Osemele said Douglas was “upset” when he first told him he wanted surgery.
Osemele previously said he had been given the painkiller Toradol for the first three games of the regular season. The first two outside specialists Osemele consulted told him he should have surgery if his symptoms warranted it; the pain, Osemele says, has not been sufficiently relieved. Per ESPN’s Rich Cimini, the Jets are “suspicious of the timing” because they believe Osemele didn’t start complaining until his starting job was in jeopardy. They may only believe him when his skin and organs have sloughed off his skeleton, the entire Mayo Clinic in tow.