Osemele confirms back problems have been a bother

Osemele confirms back problems have been a bother
October 23, 2013, 1:15 pm
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Ravens must improve in all 3 aspects of the game

Perhaps no Raven is looking forward to the bye week more then left guard Kelechi Osemele.

Playing with a bad back, Osemele confirmed what he told Sports Illustrated followed the Steelers game, that he expected to have back surgery after the season. Osemele played through back issues last season, but opted not to have offseason surgery. This offseason, he expects to have something done, because the problem is getting worse.

“Obviously, I’ve been dealing with it for awhile,” Osemele said Wednesday in the locker room. “It’s getting to the point where eventually I’m going to have to go ahead and get that fixed. I was avoiding it for as long as I could, gambling with it. Quality of life, longevity and stuff like that, I want to have a long career. It’s something I’m going to have to deal with after the season.

“It’s off and on, sometimes it gets bad during a game. There’s some days where I feel good, some days where I feel terrible. This year, I’ve just been having more occurrences with it. Definitely it’s going to make me do something about it after the season. But right now, I’m focused on trying to help my team win. They feel like I’m the best chance to win games at my position, so I’m just going to deal with it.”

Osemele has started every game, but he left the Dolphins game in the first quarter after he could not shake pre-game back spasms. He has not played up to last season's standards, and that has contributed to the struggles of the Ravens’ offensive line.

“Back’s a big thing,” Osemele said. “It’s connected to everything, it’s connected to your legs, everything from that point down. It’s affected my power, I’m an offensive lineman, I need to have strong legs.”

Osemele will get much-needed time off before the Ravens return to practice next week. However, playing with pain is something Osemele seems resigned to dealing with all season.