Kelechi Osemele is expecting to be disciplined again by the Jets when he doesn't play in their game against the New England Patriots on Monday night.
The Jets set that up on Saturday when they officially listed the 30-year-old guard as "doubtful" for the game. That was a "strategic" decision, according to a source, to leave their disciplinary options open, even though he hasn't played or practiced since the first Jets-Patriots game on Sept. 21.
Osemele was already fined once, according to a team source, when he refused to practice as ordered on Saturday, calling it "conduct detrimental to the team." The Jets can fine Osemele up to one week's pay, or about $579,000. The actual amount of the fine, though, was undisclosed.
The Jets also have the option to suspend Osemele if his "conduct detrimental to the team" continues -- which it likely will, since a source said he will not be able to practice again when the Jets return to work on Wednesday. And a suspension could be where this is headed, maybe sooner rather than later.
"It will play out fast," said one NFL source familiar with the situation. "The Jets aren't going to let this hang over them for weeks."
The whole situation has already gotten unseemly since a private dispute became public last week. Osemele said he was told by the Jets team doctor and an independent physician that he needs surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. A team source said the doctors actually said Osemele could postpone the surgery and play through the pain. The source added that the injury is from at least last season when Osemele was with the Raiders, though Osemele said he first injured it in Jets training camp on Aug. 5.
The truth, at this point, is a matter of who you choose to believe. Osemele says he's in too much pain to play, and that he needed shots of Toradol -- given by Jets doctors -- to get through the first three games of the season. However, Osemele was never listed on the injury report with a shoulder injury until after the bye week.
During the bye week, coincidentally or not, Jets head coach Adam Gase was planning an offensive line shakeup with Alex Lewis taking over as the starting left guard and Osemele heading to the bench.
Lewis is questionable for the Monday night game with a neck injury, but a source said that barring a pre-game setback, he is expected to start.
Osemele plans to file a grievance through the NFL Players Association for any discipline he receives, according to a source. Most likely that grievance won't be heard until after the season, though if he ends up suspended, that timetable most likely would be moved up.