Kelechi Osemele
AP Photo/Eric Risberg

The New York Jets let Kelechi Osemele go on Saturday afternoon, hours after it was reported he was seeking action against team doctors.

Three games and one unauthorized shoulder surgery later, the Kelechi Osemele era has ended in New York.

The New York Jets announced the release of the embattled offensive lineman on Saturday afternoon. Hours prior, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Osemele’s agents said the blocker underwent successful shoulder surgery, a procedure unauthorized by the Jets.

The examination, however, revealed greater damage in his shoulder. Osemele’s team, along with the NFLPA, is thus seeking action against the Jets’ team doctor for violations of the State Medical Board Regulations.


Osemele, 30, was added to the Jets via a trade with the Oakland Raiders. The two-time Pro Bowler was sent with a sixth-round pick in exchange for a fifth-rounder. Osemele sustained his shoulder injury during training camp, but nonetheless partook in the Jets’ first three games.

The surgery repaired a torn labrum, an injury the Jets thought he could play through. Osemele told the press on Wednesday that three different doctors told him to undergo the surgery and that he intended to do so with or without the Jets’ approval.

The team fined Osemele for “conduct detrimental to the team” last Saturday for missing preparation for last Monday’s visit from New England. Osemele claims he was unable to physically partake and plans to file a grievance with the NFLPA, who released a statement in support of Osemele on Thursday. He was previously listed as “doubtful” on the team’s Friday injury report, but was ruled out on Saturday prior to his release.

Jets head coach Adam Gase declined to comment on the Osemele situation during his Friday availability.

In a corresponding move, the Jets promoted linebacker James Burgess from the practice squad to the active roster. The veteran Burgess picked up 13 tackles and an interception returned for a touchdown in a quarter of preseason games this summer.

New York returns to action on Sunday afternoon, as they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS).

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