IK Enemkpali said Thursday that he is grateful to get a chance with the Buffalo Bills and apologized for punching New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith, adding he should have walked away during the argument.
"I'm just very grateful for Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills organization for giving me an opportunity to further my career here in 2015," Enemkpali said. "I'm very grateful and thankful and happy to be a Bill. I look forward to being a good teammate, accountable player and accountable teammate to this organization."
"I apologize for what happened. It should have never happened. I should have walked away from the situation. It was never my intention to hurt anybody."IK Enemkpali
Enemkpali, a second-year linebacker, passed his physical early Thursday, one day after being claimed on waivers by Buffalo in response to the Jets releasing him. The Jets cut ties with Enemkpali following his locker-room confrontation with Smith on Tuesday that left Smith with a broken jaw.
Enemkpali punched Smith in a dispute over a $600 debt, according to sources.
Enemkpali opened his statement Thursday by apologizing "to the Jets organization, the fans, my teammates and the coaches."
"I apologize for what happened," he said. "It should have never happened. I should have walked away from the situation. It was never my intention to hurt anybody."
He spoke for only 45 seconds and did not take any questions.
Smith underwent surgery Thursday to fix his broken jaw, the Jets announced. He chose surgery after getting a second medical opinion, a source told ESPN's Josina Anderson. Smith is expected to be sidelined for six to 10 weeks.
Enemkpali could face discipline from the league office under the personal conduct policy.
An NFL spokesman said Wednesday the league is reviewing the situation and that Enemkpali could face penalties. Any incident involving workplace violence that occurs off the football field falls under the NFL's personal conduct policy.
ESPN Jets reporter Rich Cimini and The Associated Press contributed to this report.