New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith denies he owed former teammate IK Enemkpali $600, which was reportedly the reason the linebacker punched him in the jaw.
On Tuesday, three months after the incident, Smith refuted that report.
“I didn’t owe him,” Smith told Newsday. “That’s the biggest misconception in America.”
When asked why he didn’t comment on the report sooner, Smith said it was because he “[doesn’t] make statements.”
“It’s nothing that has to be explained. The story’s already written,” Smith said. “I’m not here to make statements about that. I’m really not. I’m more focused on football. I have a normal life that I live. I’m not worried about IK.”
The incident has been revisited this week as the Jets prepare to play the Buffalo Bills on Thursday. Enemkpali was claimed by the Bills after he was released by the Jets, and was controversially named a captain for this week’s game.
Smith said he wasn’t surprised Rex Ryan, who led the Jets before becoming head coach of the Bills, chose Enemkpali as a captain for the matchup. Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall called it a “typical...Rex Ryan move.”
“I don’t think anything [about it],” Smith said. “It’s his decision. I really don’t think much about it. I don’t take it personally, if that’s what you’re asking. Why would I?”
The Jets (5–3) and the Bills (4–4) kick off at 8:25 p.m. ET on Thursday.
- Erin Flynn