On Tuesday, New York Jets coach Todd Bowles held a hurried press conference to announce that a linebacker had coldcocked his starting quarterback, knocking him out of the lineup for at least 6-10 weeks with a broken jaw.
Now the New York Daily News is reporting that the incident may have stemmed from a no-show at a scheduled appearance and $600 in airfare lost.
According to a source who spoke with the Daily News, Jets linebacker Ikemefuna "IK" Enemkpali had booked Smith to make an appearance at a charity event in Pflugerville, Texas. The booking included some $600 to cover Smith's plane and limo fees.
"Smith told friends that his brother's best friend was killed in a motorcycle accident the day before the event, so the quarterback didn't attend, the source said," the Daily News reports.
At the beginning of training camp two weeks ago, Smith reportedly told Enemkpali that he would give him back the $600 to cover the money he lost for not showing up to the event.
According to the source, Smith didn't pay up, which led to the confrontation. Teammates broke the two apart, but not before the damage had been done. According to the Daily News, Smith will need to undergo surgery to repair his jaw. Enemkpali was released from the team, and while Bowles was quick to condemn his actions, he didn't place the entire blame on the linebacker.
"It takes two to tango," Bowles said. "One to throw a punch, but two to tango."
It was a sentiment star cornerback Darrelle Revis echoed: "I hold both of them responsible," he said.
But in the end, Bowles said, the decision to let Enemkpali go wasn't difficult.
"It’s something we can't stand," Bowles said. "You don't walk up to another man and punch him in the face."
Read more at the New York Daily News.