The so-called "sucker punch" that took Jets QB Geno Smith off the field until October and sent jaw-breaker I.K. Enemkpali into Rex Ryan's loving arms wasn't such a big surprise to some. In fact, eye-witnesses say that Smith even "deserved it."
Smith owed Enemkpali $600, a pittance for the average NFL player. That was the cost of air transportation and a limo for Smith to attend a charity event hosted by Enemkpali — an event Smith did not attend, claiming a friend had died.
Former Steelers player and Enemkpali training buddy Ryan Clark told ESPN that Smith had refused to pay his teammate. "He was rather smug about it," Clark said, in remarks transcribed by The Big Lead, "So these guys got into it earlier in camp about this money (...) Geno put his finger in his face and told the guy, well, you’re not going to do anything about it.”
Clark said the men had gotten into it before but retreated to their corners before things got heated. "So when you have that situation happen one time," Clark continued, "I’m sure a lot of people weren’t expecting it to get where it’s gone."
While Enemkpali — who was charged with punching an off-duty cop in 2011 — is still an active player now that he's been snatched up by the Buffalo Bills, it's unclear as to whether he'll be slapped with any kind of charges for the incident. Everyone may just decide to go with Jets head coach Todd Bowles's assessment of the situation: "I just said the whole thing was childish."
Photos by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty