Source: Appeal by Texans DE Smith denied

Antonio Smith’s expedited appeal was denied Friday, meaning the Texans defensive end will be suspended for Week 1, a league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Smith had been suspended for ripping the helmet off Richie Incognito and swinging it at the Dolphins guard during Houston’s second preseason game. Smith will also have to sit out the Texans’ two remaining preseason games. He will lose about $400,000 in salary.

“In general, I feel disappointed, disappointed in myself that I was able to let him get to me in the way that he did that frustrated me, when knowing that that’s his whole game, that’s what he bases his skill level off of, and I let him take me down a road that led me into that path,” Smith told KRIV-TV in Houston.

Smith can practice with the Texans the rest of the preseason, although he can’t play in the games. Starting Aug. 31, however, he can’t take part in any team activities during his regular-season suspension. He will be reinstated Tuesday, Sept. 10.

Coach Gary Kubiak said he was “disappointed.”

“Thought we had an excellent chance of getting him back for the first week,” he said.

Kubiak said Tim Jamison will start in Smith’s place this week.

“Initially, I was full of frustration,” Smith said. “I swung the helmet, but I didn’t swing the helmet to hit Richie Incognito. If I was going to swing the helmet to hit Richie Incognito, it wouldn’t have been hard. He’s right there close. You can see how low the helmet was and how tight I brought it to my body.”

Smith said Incognito initially hit him in the face mask.

“It was a deliberate punch to my face,” Smith said. “You see how far my head went back. It was a deliberate grab of my face mask, the twisting and the jerking of it and then one last punch at the end.”

Cornerback Johnathan Joseph said the team was behind Smith “100 percent.”

“He’s the guy that makes this defense go from a leadership standpoint,” Joseph said. “At the same time, we have a job to do. Antonio understands that, and he’ll learn from it, I’m sure. But at the same time, he has our support, and I’m sure we have his support.”

Last season, Smith found himself in a similar position with Incognito during the Texans’ season opener. After the game, he complained about what he called dirty play from Incognito and said the Dolphins guard was trying to injure his ankle. The NFL disagreed, fining Smith $21,000 for kicking Incognito. The fine was reduced to $11,000 on appeal.

Information from ESPN.com’s Tania Ganguli was used in this report.

This article was originally posted on ESPN.com


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Neil Farris

NFL Beat Writer at All Sports Talk
I have been covering sports since 2002 when I began writing for my college newspaper. Since then I have covered football regionally and currently work in the NFL department at All Sports Talk.

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