Jets lose star Smith to 'sucker punch' broken jaw

The pre-season has been marred by a series of brawls, the most high-profile case involved New York Jets quarter-back Geno Smith, pictured, who was left with a broken jaw after being sucker-punched by team-mate IK Enemkpali (AFP Photo/Mike Ehrmann) (Getty Images/AFP/File)

New York (AFP) - New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith will miss six to 10 weeks with a broken jaw after being "sucker punched" in the team locker room, Jets coach Todd Bowles announced Tuesday.

Smith was struck by reserve linebacker I.K. Enemkpali, who was subsequently released by the Jets, who have lost their starting signal caller for at least the first couple of games of the upcoming NFL season and maybe a month longer.

Bowles described Smith as having been "cold-cocked" or "sucker punched" and called the cause of the altercation "a very childish matter" and said it was "something two sixth-graders could have talked about."

"You don't walk up to another man and punch him in the face," Bowles said.

Reserve quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick suddenly moves into the starting role for next month's opening of the NFL campaign while Smith undergoes surgery ahead of his third NFL season.

Smith, 24, set a team record for passing yards by a rookie quarterback with 3,046 in 2013, completing 247 of 443 throws for the best rookie completion percentage in Jets history as well. He threw 12 touchdown passes with 21 interpcetions.

Last season, Smith completed 219 of 367 passes for 2,525 yards and 13 touchdowns with 13 interceptions as the Jets went 4-12 last season after an 8-8 record in 2013.