New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith will miss six to 10 weeks with a broken jaw after he was punched in the face by teammate Ikemfuna Enemkpali in the team locker room. Enemkpali has since been released.
First-year head coach Todd Bowles held a press conference before the team’s practice on Tuesday to announce the news. Enemkpali punched Smith after the two players got into an argument that wasn’t diffused and the quarterback put his finger in Enemkpali’s face, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
Bowles: ""He got cold cocked, sucker punched whatever you want to call it, in the jaw." #Jets
— dom cosentino (@domcosentino) August 11, 2015
Enemkpali was a sixth-round draft pick from Louisiana Tech last year, and he only played six games, recording three tackles. New York signed cornerback Javier Arena after releasing the linebacker.
The incident places extra importance on the preseason, considering Smith was expected to be the Jets’ starter. Backup veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick figures to be No.1 on the depth chart following Smith’s injury, though he hasn’t had much success as a starter, going 33-55-1 in his career.
Rookie quarterback Bryce Petty, who was drafted in the fourth round, should see an increased role in the preseason.