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Jets' Geno Smith out 6-10 weeks after teammate breaks jaw with 'sucker punch'

Jets' Geno Smith out 6-10 weeks after teammate breaks jaw with 'sucker punch'
New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith is expected to be out six to 10 weeks with a broken jaw. (Adam Hunger / Associated Press)

Rex Ryan may be out, but the circus hasn't left the New York Jets.

Geno Smith suffered a broken jaw and will be out six to 10 weeks after linebacker IK Enemkpali "sucker punched" the starting quarterback, Coach Todd Bowles announced Tuesday. Enemkpali has been released as a consequence.

"You can't tolerate that," the first-year head coach said, according to NFL.com. "When you have a team and a bunch of side issues you can't tolerate that. It's something that happened in the locker room and we're dealing with it internally and that's what we'll do.

"I'll let them tell you. It's something very childish that sixth-graders could have talked about ... If they want to tell you what happened they'll tell you what happened. I told them I wouldn't say anything."

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Smith will miss the all of the Jets' preseason tilts and will likely miss the team's regular-season opener against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 12. He could also potentially miss the Jets' Monday Night Football game in Indianapolis against the Colts.

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Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick will likely replace Smith as the starter heading into the season with rookie Bryce Petty out of Baylor serving as his backup.

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In two seasons, Smith has completed less than 57.5% of his passes for 25 touchdowns. He's also had 34 passes intercepted.

Fitzpatrick, a journeyman whose career has seen stops with the St. Louis Rams, the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans over 10 years before joining the Jets, is 33-55-1 as a starter. 

He's completed 60.2% of his passes over the course of his career.

Smith started 13 games for the Jets, losing three of his starts to veteran Michael Vick thanks in part to a paltry receiving corp. During the offseason, New York acquired Brandon Marshall from the Chicago Bears.

Marshall had seven straight seasons with 1,000 receiving yards or more before injury limited him to 13 games last season and 721 yards.

New York will also be without defensive end Sheldon Richardson for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme

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