Brandon Marshall remains firmly in Geno Smith's corner.
The Jets wide receiver defended his quarterback on Monday, saying during a FOX TV interview that Smith "did nothing wrong" before he was sucker-punched in the locker room last Tuesday by former teammate Ikemefuna Enemkpali.
Smith, 24, suffered a broken jaw in the altercation and underwent surgery on Thursday. He is expected to miss 6-10 weeks.
"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. He did nothing wrong," Marshall, who, to this point, has remained tight-lipped during group interviews with the Jets media corps, said on air, according to the New York Daily News.
"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."
The altercation between the two players stemmed from Smith's unpaid debt of $600 in travel expenses to Enemkpali's football camp last month in his hometown of Pflugerville, Texas. Jets coach Todd Bowles used the phrases "sucker-punch" and "cold-cocked" to describe the incident shortly after it happened. But star cornerback Darrelle Revis made it clear that he felt both players were in the wrong.
"I hold both of them responsible," Revis said. "Just how it all played out at the end, you gather all the information, but at the same time you have to move forward."
Marshall clearly sees things differently. When news of the incident first broke, the veteran receiver took to Twitter to express his feelings using one character -- a sad-face emoji. And following his appearance on FOX, he continued to defend his quarterback during an ESPN radio interview later in the morning.
"Did he point his finger in [Enemkpali's face]? No, he didn't," said Marshall, who is the only Jet to give an on-the-record account of the assault.
Enemkpali, who was released immediately after the incident and subsequently claimed off waivers by Rex Ryan and the Bills, told Buffalo reporters that several former Jets teammates have reached out and showed their support since the incident.
Marshall told FOX that Smith's age and inexperience may be the reason some of their other teammates didn't rush to the quarterback's defense.
"Because he's young; he's 24," said Marshall, who was Smith's roommate in the offseason. "It hasn't been his team. He's been in and out of the lineup the last couple years. There's been a lot of question marks.
"But I don't care about the past. I care about what he's done this offseason and OTAs and in camp and leading up to that day. To me, he's been a leader. He's getting better at it. It wasn't his team. He had to earn that and he still has to continue to earn that.
" People think it's a distraction. 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."