The New York Jets are going to be a little thinner at quarterback now that Geno Smith will miss the next 6-10 weeks with a broken jaw. The 3rd-year QB got in a locker room fight with linebacker IK Enemkpali that ended in the severe injury.
The punch was over a $600 plane ticket that Enemkpali believed Smith owed him for. The 2nd-year linebacker purchased the ticket for Smith so that he could attend Enemkpali’s charity event in Pfugerville, Texas. Smith ended up not attending the event after somebody close to him died in a motorcycle incident in his hometown of Miami, prompting Enemkpali to want his $600 refunded. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Smith was going to pay him back, but the punch happened before he got the chance.
This now leaves the Jets having to replace their starting quarterback for multiple regular-season games. Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick seems to be the likely choice, given that he’s started plenty of games in Buffalo and has had some very good moments during his career. Rookie Bryce Petty may also get a crack at the starting job, although it’s largely believed that the fourth-round pick isn’t quite ready to lead an NFL team yet.
An interesting report from CNN Washington has New York inquiring about former Washington Redskins QB Rex Grossman. Here’s an excerpt from the report:
“Fitzpatrick is a real option for Week 1, a veteran with some strong games on his resume. Petty, by most accounts, is not ready to compete for the starting gig. But down a QB, now the Jets are reportedly kicking the tires on former Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman.
Grossman hasn’t played a regular season game since the 2011 season, when he started 13 games for a bad Redskins team. He threw for more than 3,100 yards to go with 16 TDs and 20 interceptions. The following year, Grossman moved to the third string QB in Washington behind Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins. Grossman’s career has been a wild ride, famous for turnovers and aggressive throws, though he was the quarterback of a Chicago Bears team that reached the Super Bowl in 2006.”
The only problem with Grossman is that he’s dealing with an injury right now that will require a few weeks to work through. However, at the very least, he could provide some depth until Smith makes it back.
Smith is entering an important year where he needs to show some growth or risk being benched for the remainder of his days in New York. Taken with the 39th-overall pick in the 2013 Draft, the 24-year-old has only managed to throw for 25 touchdowns against 34 interceptions. Assuming the Jets are to be a successful team in 2015, either he or Fitzpatrick will need to step up and lead the offense to better results than last year.