The situation in New York concerning Geno Smith continues to get weirder.
Jets receiver Brandon Marshall now says Smith “did nothing wrong” after it had previously been reported by others that the quarterback “deserved” the punch from IK Enemkpali.
That report was based on “sources,” but Marshall has spoken out now without the cover of anonymity to defend his quarterback and say that the incident is a distraction.
“People think it’s a distraction,” Marshall said on FOX Monday morning (h/t New York Daily News). “It is. It sucks. It was shocking. I’m very disappointed. I feel bad for the kid, because he was doing really good. But we have to move forward if we want to win. Geno knows that.”
Marshall then made as strong a declaration regarding Smith’s standing in the argument, saying without question that the young quarterback was innocent of the rumored “deserved it” charges.
“I was sitting right there and I would say this without going into too many details because we’ve already moved past it: Geno Smith did nothing wrong,” Marshall said. “He did nothing wrong. … And that’s all I’m going to say about that because we have to move forward and I don’t want to be a distraction to our team, but Geno Smith did everything the right way.”
Smith is expected to miss another nine weeks as he recovers from surgery to repair his fractured jaw. That hasn’t stopped him from getting outside to play a little catch, however. He was seen playing a casual game of back and forth on Sunday while wearing eye-black and showing off a hugely swollen face.
On a side note, the Jets were not happy with him for it.
Despite his eagerness to return to action, Smith may not find his starting job waiting for him when he does return. If Ryan Fitzpatrick can come in and play even mediocre ball—limiting turnovers while scoring enough points to win a few games—then Smith might not see the field again in 2015 unless the bearded one gets hurt himself.
As for the contradictory reports coming out of the Jets locker room, it will be interesting to see what juicy quotes will follow Marshall’s declaration of Smith’s innocence.