(Reuters) - New York Jets starting quarterback Geno Smith will miss the next six to 10 weeks with a broken jaw suffered after being “sucker-punched” in the locker room, coach Todd Bowles said on Tuesday.
The Jets quickly released linebacker IK Enemkpali, who punched Smith, The quarterback’s jaw was broken in two places, nfl.com reported.
“You can’t tolerate that,” Bowles told reporters. “When you have a team and a bunch of side issues you can’t tolerate that.
“It’s something that happened in the locker room and we’re dealing with it internally and that’s what we’ll do.”
Ryan Fitzpatrick, who played for offensive coordinator Chan Gailey in Buffalo, is expected take over as the Jets starter with Smith likely to miss the start of the regular season.
There was no immediate word on what led to the punch.
“I’ll let them tell you,” Bowles said of Smith and Enemkpali. “It’s something very childish that sixth-graders could have talked about ... If they want to tell you what happened, they’ll tell you what happened.”
Enemkpali was a sixth-round draft pick by the Jets in 2014 and played only 40 snaps as a rookie. He was suspended in 2011 while attending Louisiana Tech following an arrest for punching an off-duty police officer.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Steve Keating