Linebacker IK Enemkpali didn’t spend much time out of work after punching his ticket off the Jets roster by punching quarterback Geno Smith in the face on Tuesday and it comes as little surprise that the team rescuing Enemkpali from the waiver wire was the Bills.
As signing Percy Harvin and Richie Incognito this year shows, the Rex Ryan Bills don’t hold past problems with teammates against players they think can help the team. It also didn’t hurt Enemkpali that he spent his rookie year playing for Ryan with the Jets (or that the Jets fired Ryan, perhaps) because the coach said Wednesday that he thinks Enemkpali is a good teammate despite what went down on Tuesday.
“We all know what happened,” Ryan said, via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. “Obviously it was a terrible thing that happened. But IK made a mistake. Instead of listening to this person, that person. . . . We had IK last year. . . . He was a good teammate. Simple as that. It we didn’t think he would be successful on field, in locker room, and in community, he wouldn’t be here.”
Ryan said that he hasn’t spoken to Enemkpali yet, but believes that he’ll learn from what happened with the Jets and that he can make the Bills a better football team this year. Enemkpali played six games for Ryan last season and had three tackles.
The Bills opened up a roster spot by waiving tight end Clay Burton with an injury. Presumably it was one that he sustained before Enemkpali came aboard and not the result of a Hunger Games-esque way of claiming a roster spot.