NFL makes suspension of Antonio Smith official - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

NFL makes suspension of Antonio Smith official

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The NFL announced on Wednesday that Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith has been suspended for the final two preseason games and for the first regular season game "for a flagrant violation of NFL safety rules in Saturday's game against the Miami Dolphins."

In the NFL's release the league states "Smith forcibly removed the helmet of Dolphins guard Richie Incognito and then swung the helmet at Incognito in an attempt to strike him with it," which Smith has emphatically denied.

Smith told FOX 26 Sports on Tuesday he will appeal.

"The NFL handed down a three-week suspension, two preseason games and one regular season game," Smith said Tuesday. "My plan is, like anybody who gets in this situation, is to appeal it because that gives you the opportunity to state your case, and to talk to the NFL and give them an opportunity to hear what you have to say."

Smith said he was not trying to hit Incognito with Incognito's helmet.

"I just swung the helmet out of frustration," Smith said. "Anybody who really studies the film, you can see I clutched the helmet inside of my body, pulled it closer to me, instead of reaching out trying to hit somebody with the helmet.

"Initially I was full of frustration. 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 points out that it was Incognito who initiated the confrontation.

"The full video speaks for itself," Smith said. "He punched me in the face mask and once he punched me in the face mask, you can see him hold onto it and try to bend my neck back, holding my face mask all the way up.

"I finally got his hand off of my facemask, he punched me one last time with his right hand. It was a deliberate punch to my face. 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."

Smith said he is upset with himself for allowing Incognito to put him in this situation.

"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."

While Smith believes he should not be suspended, he still offered an apology to the Texans and to the city of Houston for what happened.

"I apologize to the city of Houston and my team for getting put in the situation that we are put in right now," Smith said. "

"Regardless of what the outcome (of his appeal) might be or what I think about it, the bottom line is that the league handed down the suspension and that hurts my team and in hurting my team it hurts the city of Houston."

If Smith has to miss one regular season game, it would cost him 1/17 of his base salary, which is worth $352,941.

According to the NFL's statement Smith can attend team meetings prior to the final two preseason games, but he cannot work out with the team.

If Smith does not win his appeal and is suspended for the first regular season game, the NFL said beginning on Aug. 31 he cannot take part in any team activities and would be reinstated Sept. 10, one day after Texans play the Chargers in San Diego.

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