After a rash of fights among teammates in training camp, including the one that saw former Jets linebacker Ikemefuna Enemkpali break quarterback Geno Smith's jaw on Tuesday, the NFL has sent a reminder to team executives, general managers and head coaches about the prohibition against fighting.
NFL vice president Troy Vincent wrote the letter, which was distributed on Friday, and cited the rules governing fighting in the 2015 League Policy for Players.
"There have been several recent incidents of fighting among teammates and one involving opposing teams," said Vincent, referring to the fights, as well as a series of brawls that occurred when Washington and Houston held joint practices last week. "Please be reminded that the prohibition on fighting is a point of emphasis in 2015. The 2015 League Policy for Players states the following: 'Don't fight, and if a fight breaks out involving other players, stay away.' "
Vincent also cited Article 12 of the NFL rulebook that prohibits fighting.
The NFL is reviewing the fight that took place between Smith and Enemkpali and has not yet taken any action. Enemkpali faces a possible suspension for striking Smith, who required surgery to repair a broken jaw. Enemkpali, who was claimed on waivers by the Bills on Wednesday, publicly apologized to the Jets on Thursday, although he did not mention Smith by name.
"These rules are in place for the protection and safety of our players and to keep them on the field," Vincent wrote in his memo. "As professionals, no matter how emotional the game becomes, there is nothing that should resort to fighting. Coaches are encouraged to emphasize to players, coaches, and other club personnel who are on the sidelines, that fighting will not be tolerated. We greatly appreciate all of your efforts to advance our great game, keep it competitive and professional, and to ensure that it is played to the highest standards."