Training camps are in full swing in the NFL and that means that the competition is heating up. Players are yapping at each other and players are pushing themselves to the limit to make sure they are on that final 53-man roster. But sometimes that intensity and competition goes a little overboard. We have seen a few fights between teams having joint practices together in the last week or so. And more recently, we have seen two other fights happen between teammates. The most recent one is something that no one would have expected. Reports are coming out of New York that Jets quarterback Geno Smith will be missing 6-10 weeks after getting his jaw broken. You would think that it may be something that happened on the field in competition potentially, but that was far from the case. Smith was caught with a punch in the jaw. And to add to the craziness in the situation, it was done not by an opponent but by one of his own teammates. Linebacker IK Enemkpali reportedly punched Smith in his jaw in the locker room. The reason reportedly stemmed from $600 Enemkpali felt Smith owed him when he paid for a plane ticket for Smith to come Enemkpali’s football camp this summer. Smith never made it there because of the death of a friend and in a motorcycle accident and Enemkpali felt Smith owed him the money. Smith apparently had plans to pay him back, but did not do so in satisfactory time for Enemkpali, who was not happy about it. He apparently approached Smith, who reportedly put his finger in his face. And from there, reports say Enemkpali swung and clocked Smith. This news has to be some of the craziest news that anyone has ever heard happening. You always hear of fights, but this one seemed to get out of hand. And for Enemkpali, this one could not have come out any worse.
Enemkpali has been released from the team following the incident and he has since said that it was never his intention to harm anyone. We have heard most of the details that happened in the fight, but what we have yet to hear is why no other teammates were around to even diffuse the situation before it got out of control. It seems to me that no one thought that it may get crazy between Enemkpali and Smith, so no one reacted. And as a result of that, Smith is injured and the Jets are down to starting Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback until Geno returns. In this instance, it seems strange that players surrounding Geno would not protect him or step in while this is all going on. Leads me to believe that no one really cared enough if he got hurt in the incident. For Geno, this incident could not have come at a worse time. He is a young quarterback still trying to prove himself in the NFL. He had the best supporting cast he had in his time as a Jet, then this happens. For Geno, he will definitely have to be on point with his decisions when he returns to the field, whenever that is. And as for the Jets, they wanted to get a look at Smith and figure out if he could lead their team. As of now, that will not be happening for a while. Instead of Smith, the Jets will be getting a look at veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick more than they wanted. The former Harvard quarterback has been very uneven since having a hot streak that earned him a huge deal in Buffalo ( he was later released and that deal went down the drain). It will be interesting to see what happens with him at the helm and what he can do to lead this team while Geno is gone.
The Jets did not have the best quarterback situation, but there is one thing that could potentially come up well for the Jets. The other team in New York has been lacking a quarterback for a little while. And apparently, some think that they drafted the guy that is their future quarterback this year. Bryce Petty put up great numbers while playing at Baylor University. And while playing there, he showed his toughness, playing through a back injury that some would have sat out a few weeks with. The Jets thought he was worth a shot and they selected him in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. With Geno out, he will now slide right into the backup role with the team. And with Fitzpatrick bumped up to the starter, there is a big possibility that Petty could get some action. Fitzpatrick is inconsistent at best and he seems to make the biggest mistakes at the wrong times. That could earn Fitzpatrick a lot of boos in New York. And if he performs bad enough to harm the team, there is a possibility we could see Petty get a shot. Of course, it may be on a limited basis, but it could also be a spark that is needed as well. Petty is very green in the NFL, but he does have guts and he may be the same or better than Fitzpatrick when it comes to performance. Of course when Geno comes back, he will more than likely assume the starting role again. But with the experience that Petty could potentially get should Fitzpatrick mess up (which is likely to happen), the Jets know what they have in a young quarterback playing behind Geno. And that could lead to a new quarterback playing in 2016 for the Jets.
The Jets have a messy situation going on with their quarterback situation. All because of a lost temper and $600. Geno is out and Todd Bowles has an interesting start to his first year in New York. It should be worth watching to see how he handles this situation as a rookie head coach. From the looks of it, Bowles will have to have his high-priced defense carry this team to start the season. With the weapons they have offensively, the team should be solid offensively, but the question at quarterback could be something that holds them back.