FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Geno, Geno, Geno. It's always something with the New York Jets' former starting quarterback.
Two days after doctors implanted hardware in his fractured jaw, Geno Smith thought it would be a good idea to have a game of catch with a friend. So on Saturday, he went outside his apartment complex in Whippany and was firing the old pigskin. With no shirt and no clue, he was snapped by a New York Post photographer, Smith's swollen cheeks appearing on the front page of the newspaper on Sunday morning.
Smith told the newspaper he felt "great," bragging, "You see me throwing, right?" He apparently wanted to show the world he was hard at work, already on the road to recovery, looking to reclaim his starting job. He was, of course, totally misguided.
The story and pictures didn't play well at One Jets Drive. The Jets weren't amused by Smith's latest stunt, and you can't blame them. Coach Todd Bowles said Smith was advised to avoid physical activity until he was cleared by the doctors.
"He shouldn't be doing it right now," Bowles said. "We handled that internally. We had that discussion."
Translation: They scolded Smith for his unauthorized workout. Imagine the fallout if he reinjured the jaw and needed more surgery. He also left himself vulnerable to infection by engaging in physical activity, as Bowles noted. The way things are going for the Jets, it's a surprise he didn't trip on a curb and land face-first on cement.
It's yet another example of Smith's maturity and judgment coming into question. He didn't deserve to have his jaw broken last week by then-teammate IK Enemkpali, but we've come to learn that Smith was hardly an innocent bystander. There was a heated exchange in the locker room and some believe Smith provoked Enemkpali by putting his finger in the linebacker's face.
The Jets' patience in Smith has to be wearing thin. The new regime has no allegiance to Smith, yet it gave him an opportunity to secure the starting job. He didn't deserve the No. 1 designation at the start of training camp, at least not based on his first two seasons, but he was given another mulligan after putting two straight drives in the water.
Make it three.
Smith has squandered this opportunity, raising serious questions about his long-term future with the team. He was a question mark before this nonsense began, and now the powers-that-be have to be keeping their fingers crossed that Ryan Fitzpatrick stays healthy. Rookie Bryce Petty isn't ready, and no savior will be walking through the door anytime soon. It's hard to imagine Bowles turning to Smith unless it's out of desperation.
Smith's popularity among teammates is sinking. He hurt the team by putting himself in harm's way by antagonizing Enemkpali; starting quarterbacks shouldn't behave that way. With his ill-advised game of catch, he disobeyed orders, once again exposing himself and the team.
Clearly, Smith's questionable decision-making isn't limited to the field.