FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Rex Ryan backpedaled more quickly than his cornerbacks Thursday as he tried to dodge questions about the recent arrest of Jets draft pick Quincy Enunwa and the club's knowledge of the incident.
The Jets coach stammered awkwardly as reporters tried to pin down the timeline of when the Jets were made aware of Enunwa's domestic-violence arrest on Sunday evening and his subsequent signing to their practice squad on Tuesday.
Asked point-blank when the Jets learned of the incident, Ryan said: "Oh, gosh. I don't know the specifics -- ah, shoot. The days are kind of running together. But this is something we take very seriously, obviously. And we're aware of it. Again, I'm not going to comment further on details or anything else because it's a pending legal matter.''
As Newsday reported Wednesday, Enunwa was arrested and charged with "domestic violence simple assault'' after an altercation with a woman at a nearby hotel on Sunday, according to the arrest report. On the 911 call, which also was obtained from the Florham Park police, a hotel staffer can be heard telling the operator that the "domestic incident'' resulted from "a heated argument'' and a "woman was injured.''
According to TMZ, Enunwa, 22, was accused of "grabbing the victim by her ankle and pulling her off a bed, causing her to strike and injure both her head and finger.'' After his arrest, he was taken to police headquarters and released shortly thereafter. He appeared in court Wednesday morning.
Enunwa, a sixth-round pick, initially made the Jets' 53-man roster after Saturday's cutdown deadline. But he was released Monday and signed to the practice squad Tuesday.
Ryan said the Jets were notified of the arrest before signing Enunwa to the practice squad, but he quickly backtracked when pressed further for specifics.
"I said that before about the practice squad, but you know what, I can't really remember the timetable, I've been so focused on the Raiders,'' he said. "Obviously, again, I'm not going to get into the specifics of it. I don't want to give you false information. Quite honestly, I don't remember if it was before the practice squad or not.''
In light of the backlash stemming from Ray Rice's lenient two-game suspension, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently implemented a stricter domestic violence policy -- one that Ryan said he supports.
"Obviously, I think it's appropriate,'' he said. "Obviously, not just the league but everybody knows that this is an issue and a major issue. The league's stance on it, I think, is obviously appropriate. But again, there's different circumstances to every case and, again, this thing, we'll see what happens. But specifically, I'm not going to comment on it.''
Shortly after 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald was charged with felony domestic violence over the weekend, coach Jim Harbaugh said in a radio interview that any player of his who is found guilty of charges stemming from domestic violence will be let go.
Ryan, however, chose not to be so definitive when asked about Harbaugh's stance.
"There's different things,'' Ryan said. " . . . But obviously, there's a big difference being charged, allegedly, or whatever, and convicted. So again, I'm not going to get into what-ifs or anything like that.''
Enunwa declined to say much else about the incident other than "it's a pending legal matter.'' But he did say he "spoke to people in the building'' and "nobody's holding [the arrest] against me until we find out everything that's going on.''