Jets left guard Kelechi Osemele will have season-ending surgery to repair his shoulder, a league source confirmed.
Osemele, 30, has missed the last two games after injuring his shoulder in practice two weeks ago. When it happened, Adam Gase said it could be a long-term absence.
Alex Lewis filled in for Osemele the last two games, and he has played well. It’s possible that Lewis would have replaced the struggling Osemele even if he were healthy. The former Pro Bowl guard didn’t get off to a good start, and the Jets already were planning changes on the offensive line.
The Jets slid Lewis in for Osemele, benched Brandon Shell and started Chuma Edoga at right tackle. Shell likely will move over and play left tackle now with Kelvin Beachum possibly missing time with an ankle injury he suffered in Sunday’s win over Dallas.
Gase was happy with how Shell and the line played overall against Dallas. Sam Darnold had time to throw and was sacked only twice — eight fewer times than Jets quarterbacks were sacked the previous week in Philadelphia.
“I thought there was a lot of good, definitely,” Gase said.
The Jets acquired Osemele and a sixth-round pick from the Raiders for a fifth-round pick. They took a chance that he would return to his Pro Bowl form and bolster a line that had some holes.
Now Osemele, who was dealing with a knee issue before hurting his shoulder, may have played his last game as a Jet. Osemele is signed through next year, but his $11.4 million salary is not guaranteed.
The Jets signed former Rams safety Blake Countess and waived defensive back Arthur Maulet.
Countess was on the Eagles' practice squad this season after spending the previous three years with the Rams. He played one season under Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams in Los Angeles. Countess made 54 tackles and picked off two passes in 36 games with the Rams.
The Jets also signed defensive lineman Corbin Kaufusi to the practice squad, filling the spot left when the Ravens signed safety Bennett Jackson to their active roster. Kaufusi joins his brother Bronson on the Jets' practice squad.