The New York Jets lost quarterback Geno Smith for 6-10 weeks on Tuesday morning (August 11), after suffering a broken jaw following a locker room altercation.
Coach Todd Bowles made the announcement while addressing the media, revealing that the QB was “sucker-punched” by linebacker IK Enemkpali, who has been released.
“It was nothing to do with football. … It was very childish,” Bowles said. “He got cold-cocked … sucker-punched, whatever you want to call it, in the jaw. He’s got a broken jaw, a fractured jaw.
“The team knows it. It’s something we don’t tolerate, something we can’t stand,” Bowles said. “You don’t walk up to a man and punch him in the face.”
Smith, who was set to be the starter on opening day, will undergo surgery.
Bowles said Enemkpali punched Smith over a trivial matter.
“It was something very childish, something sixth-graders could’ve talked about,” he said. “It had no reason to happen. If they want to tell you what happened, they can tell you what happened. I told them I wouldn’t say anything about it.”
According to ESPN, the incident wasn’t Enemkpali’s first brush with off-the-field violence. Apparently, when he was 19 and attending Louisiana Tech, he got into a fight at a bar, and punched an off-duty cop who was working security. That night, he was subdued with pepper spray and then with a stun gun.
He was arrested and charged with battery on a police officer and disturbing the peace/drunk, according to court records. However, the charge was amended to simple battery, and he received a suspended jail sentence and was placed on 13 months’ probation.