Posted August 21, 2013

Antonio Smith suspended for Week 1 after run-in with Richie Incognito

AFC South, Houston Texans
Antonio Smith has started all but two games for the Texans since 2009. (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

Antonio Smith has started all but two games for the Texans since 2009. (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

The Houston Texans will be without Antonio Smith for the final two weeks of the preseason and their regular-season opener against San Diego, the NFL announced Wednesday. The NFL handed down that punishment over 24 hours after “FOX Football Daily” aired video of Smith ripping off the helmet of Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito and then hitting Incognito with it in the shoulder.

The incident occurred during Houston’s preseason matchup with Miami on Saturday, a game that also featured D.J. Swearinger’s brutal hit on Dustin Keller that resulted in Keller suffering season-ending knee injuries.

Smith’s play could have had even more devastating effects, had he connected with Incognito’s head. This was the second time in two years that Smith and Incognito have clashed — Smith was fined $11,000 last season for kicking Incognito after the two scrapped during a fumble pile-up.

This latest penalty will cost Smith much more. In addition to sitting out for the Texans’ next three contests, Smith also will lose his Week 1 paycheck, which amounts to slightly less than $400,000.

Houston will turn to either Tim Jamison or 2012 draft pick Jared Crick to fill Smith’s spot at defensive end in the team’s 3-4 defense. That swap may not be too drastic a hit to the Texans’ chances against San Diego (and its rebuilding offensive line), though Smith was a Pro Bowler in 2011 and graded out as the league’s No. 4 defensive end last season on Pro Football Focus. The Texans do still have the luxury of J.J. Watt at their other DE spot, with several pass-rushing linebackers behind him.

The Texans host New Orleans on Sunday afternoon, before visiting Dallas next Thursday, Aug. 29, to wrap the preseason.

29 comments
randomdeletion
randomdeletion

People talking about the helmet being a weapon and the danger posed by Smith swinging it at Incognito are really funny.  It is a PLASTIC helmet,  you all act like it is made of steel.  it would do little to NO damage at all even if he did make contact with the guy's head.  You do know what plastic is right?  Would you be in mortal fear for your life if someone attacked you with a plastic hammer?  I mean sure, they could kill you eventually after maybe a few hundred blows, but to think you are in any real danger is laughable.  Brian Cushing head butt a teammate when his helmet was off and his teammate still had his helmet on. No damage done.  He knows it is PLASTIC.  FFS.  Get a grip people.

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

When's the last time this sambo got tested?

Scramble
Scramble

Is that picture of that famous AA super hero "Captain Yomerica"

209cat
209cat

Whats the NFL going to do about the Seahawks players who almost crippled Derek Wolfe....  that play was way worse than this which you see in almost every game now 

Fleeb
Fleeb

I take issue with calling Swearingers'  hit on Keller "brutal."  This is tackle football, not flag, not touch.

 This was not a dirty hit. This was a 200 lb DB taking on a 250 lb tight end. Remember, he's not allowed to hit him high, where he can upset the center  of gravity. His options were to hit him in the center of the mass, where Keller would most likely have run him over, or go low. So he went low. What would you have him do?

The injury to Keller was unfortunate, but to characterize hits like this as "dirty' does a disservice to game.


ChaseWalsh3
ChaseWalsh3

it's only one game because it's Incognito.

morgus
morgus

Incognito is the dirtiest lineman in the league.  Smith should have been suspended for missing his head.

tfaw
tfaw

Incognito is known as very aggressive.  Last year, he stepped and stayed on Smith's ankle for quite a bit of time.  

arleneschn
arleneschn

I cannot figure out what goes in in RG's head.

mishmosh2000
mishmosh2000

Assault outside the rules of the game should be criminal activity and judged according.  Other sports, including Hockey do it.

arleneschn
arleneschn

Unbelievable. Should have been at least 4. Most of that team takes cheap shots and cut blocks.

Stewart3
Stewart3

sit him for 8 games   maybe he and others will get the message

JamesCarroll
JamesCarroll

We did moron... Blocking vs assault with deadly weapon.

Scramble
Scramble

Take a look at both guys.

mrfrogburger
mrfrogburger

This behavior deserves 4-6 games. The NFL is a joke. They'd rather ban celebrations.

Craig
Craig

@209cat I'm not too sure what you're smoking, but it must be the good stuff.  Wolfe was legally blocked, was in the process of getting back up, and ended up in a pile as the play came to where he was.  Clearly no intent of any kind.  In this play you can watch the battle, clearly observe Smith pulling off the helmet, and then swinging it towards Incognito's head.  If we really saw this sort of play in every game, the league would have to shut down...because there would be no players available due to suspensions.

Mike26
Mike26

@tfaw Actually, in a small pile-up he tried to twist Smith's ankle and break it.  Smith got suspended for kicking his way out - like any good ninja would do.

Mike26
Mike26

@fordmike79 Incognito isn't on the Dirtiest players list for no reason!

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

@arleneschn ask him, I'm sure he would love to tweet it to you, like everything else he tweets

Mike26
Mike26

@arleneschn He actually tried to twist it and break it - it's on video but the league did nothing to him.

Mike26
Mike26

@JamesCarroll It's clear  you only saw the end of the play; you clearly know nothing about Incognito.

Mike26
Mike26

@fordmike79 @JoeCabot ford, JoeCabot has proven himself completely incapable of independent, original thought for a while now.  His superior intelligence over all other commenters is clear to everyone living in his own head....

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@fordmike79 @JoeCabot Says the guy replying to a post.   Oh, and prior to this post, I had one other response.  Sorry if I am out of control.