New York Jets left guard Kelechi Osemele is reportedly set to undergo shoulder surgery after missing the last two weeks with the injury.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has reported that Osemele is set to undergo surgery to repair a shoulder injury he suffered a few weeks back. Osemele has missed the last two games after first injuring his shoulder in practice following the team’s Week 3 loss.
The two-time Pro Bowl guard was acquired by the Jets back in March when the team sent a fifth-round pick to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for Osemele and a sixth-round pick — later used to select cornerback Blessuan Austin.
The Raiders would later send that fifth-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars who used it to draft Temple running back Ryquell Armstead.
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Osemele came to the Jets with plenty of hype given his former All-Pro status. However, knee and toe issues last season forced him to miss five games in what was an injury-plagued, career-low season for the veteran.
However, the hope was that a healthy Osemele could be a sizable upgrade over the duo of James Carpenter and Spencer Long who started at left guard last season. Unfortunately, Osemele and the Jets offensive line struggled during his three starts prior to his injury.
And now, it appears as though his short-lived time in New York could be all but over.
There has been no timetable given for his surgery but it will likely keep him out for a while. Regardless, Alex Lewis has done an exceptional job filling in for Osemele and has arguably been the team’s best offensive lineman over the last two weeks.
Lewis finished with the fourth-highest Pro Football Focus grade among all offensive guards in Week 5 and followed that up with another strong showing in Week 6. Per Gang Green Nation’s Michael Nania, Lewis has allowed just one pressure on 77 pass-blocking snaps in his two starts.
And as Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News insinuates, the Jets likely weren’t going to bench Lewis even if Osemele returned to full health.
Of course, having additional depth along the offensive line is never a bad thing. But at the very least, the Jets seem to have found a potential gem in Lewis.
As for Kelechi Osemele, the Jets have a potential out in his contract after this year making it very likely we’ve seen the last of the former All-Pro guard in the green and white. And given his age and recent injury history, his NFL career may be coming to an end as well.
While certainly not positive news on the injury front, the Jets at least have the luxury of having a more-than-reliable backup in Lewis.