Osemele expected to miss rest of season with back injury (plus quotes)

Guard Kelechi Osemele will sit out this week’s game at Cleveland and will unlikely play again this season because of a back injury, coach John Harbaugh told reporters today, the Ravens tweeted.

Osemele, 24, has started all seven games this year and all 23 of the Ravens’ regular season games since the team selected him in the second round of the 2012 draft.

Against Miami on Oct. 6, Osemele started, but back troubles forced him to be removed in the first quarter in favor of A.Q. Shipley at left guard.

During the bye week, Osemele said he expected to undergo offseason back surgery, but there was no indication that the 6-foot-5, 330-pound lineman wouldn’t be able to finish the year.

Harbaugh told reporters that Shipley and Jah Reid will take over for Osemele at left guard.

Update: Harbaugh told the media that Osemele could possibly undergo back surgery soon.

“Right now, there are some changes in his back that we discovered this week,” he said. “He’s not going to play in this game. Going forward, I think the chances of him playing the rest of the year probably are pretty slim. There’s a good chance he’s going to get surgery here real soon.

“I don’t want so say for sure 100 percent, because I don’t know if I’m authorized to say that, but I would anticipate that right now. So we’ll move forward on that with the guys that we have, and we’ll be in good shape. The back was just getting a little worse and a little worse as we went. We went back in and looked at it, and there’s some things that need to get taken care of there.”

Harbaugh likes the idea of the Ravens having healthy options at left guard moving forward with Shipley and others.

“That’s the thing - you want your guys at 100 percent,” Harbaugh said. “So A.Q. has played well. He’s played very well when he’s been in there. He’s a football player. He’s always played well whenever he plays, and he’ll play well. And there are other guys that will be in the mix. Jah Reid will be in the mix. Jah will play going forward. Rick Wagner has done a great job. The offensive line is developing very well, and I’m excited to see how they play going forward. So we’ll actually be better, I think, with a healthier player.”