FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Geno Smith pulled no punches on Monday, the New York Jets quarterback on the comeback trail following jaw surgery a month ago. The former second round pick, set to enter his third year with the Jets, practiced with the team on Monday for the first time since being sucker punched by former teammate IK Enemkpali.
And even as he talked about his comeback from recent surgery, he was close-jawed on the incident that landed him on the sidelines and out of a starting job. When asked about Enemkpali, Smith refused to comment on the situation and took the high road saying that "I really don’t want to talk much about the incident. I put it behind me. We’re focusing on the Cleveland Browns as a team. We’ve got a big game ahead of us. That’s all that really matters at this point."
Smith wouldn't comment on the incident, which reports alleged was over $600 owed by the quarterback to his former teammate. He did however confirm a report from Metro two weeks ago that said that Smith was not going to press charges against Enemkpali.
Monday represented progress as Smith participated in positional drills with the third-team offense. On Monday he stated his uncertainty of when he will be able to be begin in earnest attempting to win back his starting job.
"Not sure, you’ve got to ask coach. I still have to talk to the doctors. It’s a week-to-week process," Smith said on Monday. "This week I’ve gotten better, I feel better, I feel more healthy, but it’s still a weekly process."
As for his timetable for a return, there was a thought process that Smith might be able to return earlier from surgery. It seemed as if the Jets were sending up smoke when they opted to release two veteran quarterbacks this weekend and keep just starter Ryan Fitzpatrick and rookie Bryce Petty on the roster along with Smith.
The reading of the tea leaves seemed to point towards the Jets not keeping another veteran quarterback on the roster as a sign that Smith was nearing a return. Not so said head coach Todd Bowles.
"I don’t think so. He still has the jaw, he’s throwing non-contact, but he’s just throwing the ball," Bowles said. "He can throw in shorts and a t-shirt. We still don’t have a better estimated time for him. Right now, it is as it is."