Geno Smith’s tumultuous career with the New York Jets has hit another snag, as the quarterback has suffered a broken jawafter a locker room fight with linebacker IK Enemkpali. The injury will sideline him for six to 10 weeks, per Brian Costello of the New York Post.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network noted Smith’s reported timetable makes him a candidate for the injured reserve/designated to return list.
Head coach Todd Bowles said Ryan Fitzpatrick will start for the Jets in place of Smith, and Smith isn’t guaranteed to reclaim the starting job this season if Fitzpatrick is playing at a high level, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
Mehta said Smith will have surgery within “the next day or so.”
Dom Cosentino of New Jersey Advance Media reported Smith will require surgery after an altercation in the locker room with Enemkpali, whom the team has since released.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter provided details on what may have led to the altercation:
Schefter said Smith intended to pay Enemkpali back, but just hadn’t done it yet, according to sources.
Rapoport reported Smith was unable to attend the camp because he was accompanying his brother, who broke his arm and ribs in a bike accident, to the hospital.
Mehta added more details to Smith’s actions following the incident, saying “Smith got up from sitting down after getting punched and said, ‘I’m not doing this here.’ Then he walked out of locker room.”
Conor Orr of NFL.com provided Enemkpali’s statement:
Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports provided Bowles‘ full statement on the incident:
Mehta reported, per people close to the quarterback, that Smith may not be able to talk right now in order to give his side of the story.
Smith took to Instagram to say “I’ll be back” shortly after the news was announced.
Dennis Waszak Jr. of the Associated Press said, according to Bowles,Enemkpali was remorseful once he calmed down. Bowles also said it will be up to Smith to decide whether or not he wants to press charges, via Kimberley A. Martin of Newsday.
The Jets provided comments from cornerback Darrelle Revis, who said, “As a team, we’ve just got to stick together and move forward.” Revis also said he holds both players involved responsible for the incident, according to Seth Walder of the New York Daily News. “It’s very shocking for this to happen at this time in training camp”, Revis continued, per Mehta.
Smith had been able to stay healthy throughout his two-year NFL career. The coaching staff benched him in favor of Michael Vick for three starts in 2014, but the former West Virginia star has appeared in 30 of 32 games thus far.
The Jets have taken steps to improve the quarterback position in 2015, trading for Fitzpatrick and picking Bryce Petty in the fourth round of this year’s draft. Smith has shown glimpses of being a capable player, but he has been unable to put it all together.
This season will likely be his final chance to prove his value to the Jets, so any injury that could keep him off the field is damaging to his future.
Source: Bleacher Report