Jets' Smith out 6-10 weeks after punched in jaw by teammate
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 12, 2015 02:30 PM
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Sports Writer
FLORHAM PARK, New Jersey (AP) — Geno Smith's hopes for a breakout season with the New York Jets took a major blow — to the jaw.
The quarterback will be sidelined at least 6-10 weeks with a broken jaw after being punched by teammate Ikemefuna Enemkpali in the locker room Tuesday morning. Smith, entering his third season, will require surgery to repair the injuries. He hadn't yet undergone the procedure as of late Tuesday afternoon.
"It had nothing to do with football," coach Todd Bowles said. "It was something very childish, and he got cold-cocked, sucker-punched — whatever you want to call it — in the jaw."
Bowles made the stunning announcement in an impromptu news conference before training camp practice was scheduled to start. Enemkpali (EN-um-PAL-ee), an outside linebacker in his second season, was immediately released by the Jets.
"It was something very childish, that sixth-graders could have talked about," Bowles said. "It had no reason for happening."
Neither Bowles nor a small handful of players made available to the media would go into detail about the incident, or if they knew what sparked it.
"This isn't a UFC match," guard Willie Colon said. "We're football players, not fighters."
Added cornerback Darrelle Revis: "I hold both of them responsible. ... But at the same time, you've got to move forward."
Smith, who was having a good training camp, will be sidelined for the rest of the summer and likely for the first few games of the season. The regular-season opener at home against Cleveland on Sept. 13 is five weeks away.
"Depending on how surgery goes, we'll see where we go from there," Bowles said.
Smith took to Instagram and posted a picture of himself sitting in a car — mouth closed and looking stern — and a simple message: "ILL BE BACK."
In a statement issued to The Associated Press by his agent, Enemkpali apologized to the team and fans.
"Geno and I let our frustration get the best of us, but I should have just walked away from the situation," Enemkpali said. "I deeply regret and apologize for my actions. It was never my intention to harm anyone. I appreciate the opportunity I had with the Jets."