This strange fight between the Jets and offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele continues. One side is talking, and the other isn’t.
Osemele insists he needs shoulder surgery. His agent has backed him up. The Jets, amid threats to discipline if he doesn’t return to practice despite the shoulder surgery, have said nothing.
“It’s been killing me,” Osemele told reporters on Friday, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “I’m just trying to get this [surgery] done. I’ve done everything I can. I’ve been at work every day, waking up at five in the morning, doing all the rehab and the treatments. I’m like the last dude out of here at night. I’m doing everything I can. I’m working with my agent. We’re communicating with the team. There’s just not communication between the team and my doctor and my agent. It’s just been butting heads for whatever reason. Hopefully, it gets resolved soon.”
Agent Andrew Kessler echoed Osemele’s concern in a statement to the Associated Press: “His symptoms dictate that he needs surgery. For the team to question the integrity of how he has told them he is physically feeling is disappointing to say the least. It is hardly putting a priority on player safety.”
The team, as noted by Mehta, has publicly said nothing.
Kessler separately told Connor Hughes of TheAthletic.com that Osemele received Toradol shots earlier this year, but that the dosage wasn’t effective to eliminate the pain.
Although Osemele, even if able to play, may have lost his starting job to Alex Lewis, the Jets wants him to be available to play through the balance of the season, and to get surgery in the offseason. Osemele, if he needs surgery either now or later, surely would prefer to get it now, so that he’s healthy once the season ends, the Jets release him, and he hits the open market.
Regardless of the motivations and agendas, it’s impossible for the Jets to get anyone to see it their way, if they are going to say nothing.