The NFL confirmed Wednesday that it is reviewing the incident between former New York Jets player IK Enemkpali and quarterback Geno Smith, and the linebacker could face penalties under the league's personal conduct policy.
Enemkpali punched Smith on Tuesday in the Jets locker room, breaking Smith's jaw. Smith will have surgery and could be out for six to 10 weeks.
Enemkpali was released by the Jets almost immediately after the incident, but he is eligible to sign with another team. If Enemkpali were to sign with a different team, he could face discipline under the league's policy, as this is considered an incidence of workplace violence.
He also could face criminal charges, if Smith chooses to pursue them.
Smith, who will miss at least six to 10 weeks with two fractures in his jaw, accepted a $600 plane ticket from Enemkpali to appear at the reserve linebacker's football camp in Pflugerville, Texas, on July 11, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Problems arose when Smith did not show up for the camp, which took place days after someone close to Smith was killed in a motorcycle crash in Miami, sources said.
After Smith did not attend, Enemkpali demanded that the Jets quarterback refund him the $600 he allegedly used to purchase the plane ticket. Smith told Enemkpali he would reimburse him the money, but he had not as of Tuesday morning. Enemkpali confronted Smith on Tuesday about the money, and the confrontation ended in a punch and a broken jaw.
A source told ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark that Smith put his finger in Enemkpali's face just before the linebacker punched him.
Enemkpali released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying he was sorry for his actions.
"I apologize to the Jets organization, coaches, teammates and fans," Enemkpali said. "Geno and I let our frustration get the best of us, but I should have just walked away from the situation. I deeply regret and apologize for my actions. It was never my intention to harm anyone. I appreciate the opportunity I had with the Jets."