The New York Jets cut veteran guard Kelechi Osemele on Saturday amidst a month-long injury dispute.
The news followed a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter earlier Saturday that Osemele and the NFL Players Association were considering specific action against a team doctor after it was revealed that damage to his torn labrum was more extensive than first thought. Osemele had surgery Friday.
“Per Kelechi Osemele’s agents: Osemele’s surgery went well yesterday, but damage to shoulder was more extensive than anticipated,” tweeted Schefter. “His representatives and NFLPA are now considering specific action against the Jets’ team doctor for violations of State Medical Board Regulations.”
The Jets doubted the severity of the injury and team physicians cleared Osemele, who has not played since Week 3. The team wanted him to play through the injury this season and has fined him since last Saturday for conduct detrimental to the team for each day he missed practice.
On Friday, Osemele was a no-show at practice following surgery and ESPN’s Rich Cimini reported that he was fined for an “unexcused absence.” The fine for the week of missed practice is reportedly $579,000, one game check for Osemele.
The NFLPA issued a statement Thursday in support of Osemele ahead of his surgery, despite the team’s contention he didn’t need it right away.
“Our union supports every player’s right to a second medical opinion, workers’ compensation and the best medical care,” the statement reads. “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 has filed a grievance over the fines, according to SNY.tv.
Osemele started the first three games but hasn’t played or practiced since Week 3 against the New England Patriots.
The Jets acquired Osemele, 30, in March from the Oakland Raiders. He was making $10.2 million this season and was set to earn $11.7 million in 2020 according to Spotrac. He has started 96 NFL games, playing for the Baltimore Ravens (2012-15), Raiders (2016-18) and Jets (2019). He is a two-time Pro Bowl selection.
—Field Level Media