The New York Jets suffered a major blow in training camp when third-year quarterback Geno Smith broke his jaw after getting sucker-punched in a locker room altercation with linebacker Ikemefuna “IK” Enemkpali.
The incident was first reported by NJ.com Jets beat reporter Dom Cosentino.
Smith reportedly broke his jaw in two places. He needs surgery and will miss six to ten weeks, coach Todd Bowles said.
After the incident, the Jets immediately cut Enemkpali, who they reportedly describe as a “huge ball of muscle”:
Jets source described Enemkpdi as “a huge ball of muscle.” Jets were high on Smith’s camp thus far. Was going to get a good run starting…
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) August 11, 2015
Here he is at the 2014 Draft combine:
The punch reportedly didn’t come out of nowhere, though. Smith and Enempkpali were reportedly in an argument when Smith put his finger in Enemkpali’s face:
Word is Geno Smith put his finger in the face of IK Enemkpali’s during and argument that wasn’t getting difused. Then came the punch
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 11, 2015
Bowles spoke to reporters briefly after practice, and said:
“IK is gone. It’s something we don’t tolerate, something we can’t stand. You don’t walk up to another man and punch him in the face.”
He also said he was disappointed in his players for not talking it out, saying, “It’s something very childish that sixth graders could have talked about.”
Though Enemkpali signed a four-year, $US2.3 million contract in 2014, only $US78,000 of it was guaranteed, according to Spotrac. Enemkpali had no workout or roster bonus this year, so he will not receive the $US510,000 in base salary he was owed this year.
Enemkpali’s temper was reportedly known going into training camp:
IK Enemkpali has a history of bad temper. Had a bar fight in college, pleaded down to simple battery. Jets knew about it before ’14 draft.
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) August 11, 2015
With Smith out, the common belief is the Jets will rely on veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who they signed in the offseason.
Smith’s injury is a huge setback, as many believed his third season would need to be his breakout year.
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