Geno Smith can’t seem to catch a break … except to his lower jaw.
The embattled and much-maligned quarterback for the New York Jets was sucker-punched by a teammate in the locker room before training camp practice on Tuesday, breaking his jaw in two places and sidelining him for up to 2-1/2 months. Smith had to have surgery to repair the breaks and is estimated to be out of action for the next 6 to 10 weeks.
What precipitated the ambush punch by reserve linebacker IK Enemkpali? Apparently, Enemkpali had paid for Smith’s airfare and limo ride to attend his football camp in Texas, worth $600. But at the last minute, Smith pulled out of it because a person close to Smith reportedly died in a motorcycle accident. It has yet to be confirmed whether Smith notified Enemkpali about the last minute change of plans, but Enemkpali demanded that he be reimbursed by Smith the $600 when they got to camp. Smith reportedly said he would pay him back but was slow — too slow for Enemkpali’s taste — in getting that money back to him.
According to witnesses in the locker room and various media reports, there was a shouting match between the two of them over this money and that’s when Enemkpali hauled off with a haymaker punch that shattered Smith’s jaw and, once again, makes the Jets the laughingstock of the league before the season even starts.
Most Jets fans don’t want Smith as their quarterback to begin with. And since the Jets went 4-12 last season, this was seen as Smith’s last chance to make a case that he is a starting NFL quarterback. Now he may never get that chance, especially if Smith’s replacement puts together a decent showing in his absence.
Fans and social media did not express much sympathy or mercy on Smith for being the victim of the violent assault. In fact, there were plenty of memes mocking Smith and the bad-luck Jets. Take a look.