New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall isn’t surprised at Rex Ryan’s decision to make linebacker IK Enemkpali a captain ahead of this Thursday’s matchup between the Jets and the Buffalo Bills, despite the controversy that surrounds his former teammate.
“Typical Rex,” Marshall said with a smile, according to USA Today. “That’s a Rex Ryan move. Are you guys surprised? I love it.”
Enemkpali became notorious for sucker punching Jets quarterback Geno Smith and breaking his jaw while the two were still teammates earlier this year. Enemkpali was released by the Jets immediately after the altercation, and was picked up by the Bills.
Smith, who was originally slated to be this year’s starter, has appeared in just one game this season and did not start. After serving a four-game suspension for the incident, Enemkpali has played in three games for the Bills, usually as a member of special teams.
Ryan makes a habit of naming players captains for games against their former teams. Last week, former Dolphins Richie Incognito, Charles Clay and Dan Carpenter were labeled captains before the Bills’ win over Miami.
“He has the balls to do it,” Marshall said.
“I do this all the time,” Ryan said Monday. “Anybody that's [previously played for the opposing team] you’re going to see. Will [tight end Matthew] Mulligan be out there? Yep, he’ll be out there. For them, you put them out there, you recognize their teammates and all that, their former teammates.”
Ryan also joked about making himself a captain for the game, as he led the Jets for six years before becoming the Bills' head coach this season.
The Bills (4–4) and the Jets (5–3) will kick off at 8:25 p.m. ET on Thursday.
- Erin Flynn