New York Jets guard Kelechi Osemele is prepared to file a grievance against the team amidst his injury saga.
The New York Jets have been trapped in a standoff with left guard Kelechi Osemele. Osemele has a torn labrum in his shoulder, which he feels requires surgery. However, the team believes he does not need surgery, and that he can play through the pain and have the surgery in the offseason.
Osemele did not practice on Saturday due to the shoulder injury and the team fined him in response. Now, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, he is prepared to file a grievance with the NFLPA, as he feels he is physically unable to practice.
According to Vacchiano, the center of the disagreement is whether or not the absence is unexcused or not. Osemele is claiming that the team doctor told him he needs surgery, while the team says that the doctor feels that surgery can wait until the offseason. The team also claims that the torn labrum was a preexisting condition, as opposed to an injury picked up in August as he claims.
Vacchiano goes on to state that Osemele hopes to find a resolution to this issue that doesn’t involve some form of arbitration or appeal. However, it’s unclear if the team is willing to budge, and Osemele has 50 days to inform the players association that he wants to appeal.
Ultimately, this is an ugly situation that can’t end well for the Jets. The team insists that he can play through the pain, however, Osemele knows his pain level better than anybody else. If he’s in as much pain as he claims he is then he stands a good chance to win his appeal.
It’s also worth noting that Osemele has struggled this season after playing at a high level with the Oakland Raiders. Alex Lewis has impressed the team and might have kept the starting job if Osemele did feel that he was able to play.
There seems to be very little chance that this situation turns out well.