Fisticuffs are very commonplace at training camps around the NFL, and they sometimes involve quarterbacks. We’ve now had two in two days. Carolina Panthers QB, Cam Newton was involved in a scuffle with corner back Josh Norman at Panthers camp. However, Newton came out of it unscathed. Leave it to the lowly New York Jets to break the pattern of QB’s not being hurt in a fisticuff. ‘Break’ is the keyword here. Probable Jets starting quarterback, Geno Smith will reportedly be sidelined 6-10 weeks after being suckered punched and having his jaw broken today during an altercation at Jets training camp.
Ik Enemkpali, a sixth-round draft pick in 2014 from Louisiana Tech punched Smith over an unpaid $600 debt, reportedly over a plane ticket. The Jets released him shortly after the incident. He reportedly, stood to make $500,000 from the Jets. That’s gone down the drain now. Enemkpali, was far from a sure thing to make the team anyway, as the Jets are pretty solid at Linebacker. He’s also had a violent past. In April 2011, he was arrested and charged for disturbing the peace and battery of a police officer. Officials at Louisiana Tech claim that incident was against Enemkpali’s character. Today’s incident hardly supports that claim.
Smith’s injury leaves the door open for veteran signal-caller, Ryan Fitzpatrick to take over the starting role. Who knows? It’s a longshot, but maybe this even opens the door for the rookie from Baylor to make a splash, Bryce Petty. It would be quite interesting to see if the rookie QB, who put up video game numbers in Baylor coach Art Briles’ high-octane offense, can do the same in the NFL.
Regardless, of who takes the snaps, it’s just another setback for a franchise that’s had nothing but setbacks in recent years. A number of those setbacks have come during Smith’s tenure. However, this incident is probably the biggest head scratcher. Why does an NFL second round pick even have to borrow any money from a player that was drafted in the sixth round anyway? How will Geno respond to all of this? Can he come back and become the leader of this team? Perhaps, former NFL star, Cris Carter had a point in a Twitter post earlier today. In that tweet Carter said that “Smith’s lack of leadership led to his jaw being broken”. That post was later deleted. Needless to say, new Jets head coach, Todd Bowles has his work cut out for him to turn this team around anytime soon.
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