Antonio Smith Suspended by NFL After Richie Incognito Fight

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2013

Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith should prepare for punishment after an ugly incident in Saturday's preseason game against the Miami Dolphins. According to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, the NFL is investigating the incident.

During the contest, the nine-year veteran got into a scuffle with opposing offensive lineman Richie Incognito. After the play, Smith ripped off Incognito's helmet and swung it at his face.

 

UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 23 at 2:15 p.m. ET

From ESPN.com's Tania Ganguli:

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UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 23, at 12:15 p.m. ET

From Alex Marvez of Fox Sports 1:

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UPDATE: Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 11:08 p.m. ET

From Alex Marvez of Fox Sports 1:

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UPDATE: Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 1:05 p.m. ET

The NFL made its ruling on Smith official today, suspending him for the final two preseason games and Week 1 of the regular season:

Smith may attend team meetings prior to the next two preseason games but will not participate in practice or play in the Texans’ games on Sunday, August 25 against the New Orleans Saints and Thursday, August 29 against the Dallas Cowboys.  Beginning on Saturday, August 31, Smith is suspended for Week 1 of the regular season and may not take part in any team activities, including the club’s game on Monday, September 9 against the San Diego Chargers.  He will be reinstated on Tuesday, September 10.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport had more details about Smith's disciplinary record.

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UPDATE: Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 3:51 p.m. ET

From ESPN's Adam Schefter:

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UPDATE: Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 3:30 p.m. ET 

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio provides quotes from Incognito regarding the incident:

“Football’s an intense game, it’s played with a lot of passion, blood runs hot, I’ve been there, I’m no choir boy,”  Incognito told reporters.  ”People lost their cool, just thank God no one got hurt.”

Incognito was mum regarding the specifics of the incident.

“You know I’m not really going to touch on anything like that, I’m moving past it and just moving on to the Tampa Bay game,” Incognito said regarding whether the helmet hit him in the face. 

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UPDATE: Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 1:36 p.m. ET

From ESPN's Adam Schefter (via ESPN's Tania Ganguli):

ESPN.com had more information about Smith's punishment:

He was also expected to be fined for the incident.

Even though the incident took place in a preseason game, the league decided it was appropriate to discipline Smith by forcing him to miss a regular-season game and to forfeit that game check. 

Smith declined to talk about the scuffle, telling reporters after the game that he "took a blow to the head. I can't remember."

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UPDATE: Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 8:10 a.m. ET

From ESPN's Ed Werder:

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Peter King of Sports Illustrated believes this should result in a suspension:

He is not alone. Miami head coach Joe Philbin is looking for a similar punishment, via Fox Sports:

A dirty player being let to play dirty...Richie Incognito. Everything that’s illegal that can be done on the football field he does it, but mainly he was hitting people after the play, sliding down on your leg grabbing your ankle and trying to twist to break your ankle and he was doing it right in front of the referees and he was still in the game.

According to Dan Hanzus of NFL.com, Incognito said last year that his deviant ways are a thing of the past:

It's a label that has been with me since I was a younger player, when I quite frankly did play dirty and I would go after guys. ... So I think back then the tag was deserved. I have evolved, and I think that label still sticks. Once you're labeled with it, it's very hard to shake.

Smith clearly isn't buying it, and we'll learn soon enough if it will cost him any games.

 

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