Almost one year ago, Geno Smith sustained a broken jaw after then-teammate IK Enemkpali punched the New York Jets quarterback in the team’s locker room. Smith opened opened up about the incident in an interview with the New York Post.
“It feels like 10 years, 20 years,” Smith said when looking back on the punch, which occurred on Aug. 11 of last year.
“I don't think about it,” Smith continued. “It was a crazy situation, a life-defining moment. It could go one of two ways – it could make you or it could break you. It hasn’t broken me. It won’t break me ever. A situation like that won’t change my demeanor or my attitude. I know who I am. I know what I can do. I’m just trusting my instincts. I know I’ll get back in there. I just have to stay focused and keep believing and working hard and when I do, I’ll be ready for it.”
The confrontation reportedly occurred because Smith owed Enemkpali $600 for plane tickets and limos after he failed to attend a football camp for kids. Due to his injury, Smith lost his starting job to Ryan Fitzpatrick. The team went on to earn a 10–6 record for the season.
“It’s been fuel to me every day. I’m still pissed off,” Smith said. “That’s not going to change until I get back into the saddle. I do have an understanding that it’s a team game. You do have to be respectful of your coaches and your teammates and you’ve also got to support them. That’s what I've been doing, all the while still progressing myself.”
Smith, 25, was selected in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft by the Jets. Over the course of his career he has thrown for 5,836 yards, 27 touchdowns and 35 interceptions.