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Ikemefuna Enemkpali on Geno Smith punch: 'I should've walked away from the situation'

Ikemefuna Enemkpali on Geno Smith punch: 'I should've walked away from the situation'
New Bills linebacker Ikemefuna Enemkpali prepares to speak to reporters. (Mike Groll / Associated Press)

Ikemefuna Enemkpali spoke publicly on the incident leading to his dismissal from the New York Jets for the first time Thursday after passing a physical and meeting with officials from his new team, the Buffalo Bills.

Enemkpali was cut by the Jets on Tuesday, the same day he punched Geno Smith in the face during a locker room altercation and broke the quarterback's jaw. Smith is expected to be out six to 10 weeks.

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"It should've never happened. I should've walked away from the situation," Enemkpali said Thursday of the incident. "It was never my intention to hurt anyone."

The linebacker did not mention Smith by name. He spoke for only 45 seconds and did not take any questions from reporters.

"I'm very grateful and happy to be a Bill," he added. "I look forward to being a good teammate, an accountable player."

New Bills Coach Rex Ryan said he expected as much of the player he drafted in the sixth round with the Jets last year. He referred to Enemkpali as a "good teammate."

"Nothing justifies hitting somebody," Ryan said. "For what I know about this young man, I think he'll come in here and I think he'll do just fine."

General Manager Doug Whaley said Enemkpali will be on "a short leash."

"It was an unfortunate incident. We're not downplaying that," Whaley said. "But we also recognize that with what we are building around here that this guy could help us win."

Ryan and Whaley said the NFL is investigating the incident and could suspend Enemkpali.

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