NFL rules Texans defensive end Smith must serve 3-game suspensio - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

NFL rules Texans defensive end Smith must serve 3-game suspension

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The NFL has turned down the appeal of Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith.

He was suspended for the final two preseason games and the regular season opener against the Chargers in San Diego.

The NFL announced on Wednesday that Smith had been suspended "for a flagrant violation of NFL safety rules in Saturday's game against the Miami Dolphins."

In the NFL's release the league stated "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 in an interview with FOX 26 Sports.

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

"I just swung the helmet out of frustration," Smith said on Tuesday. 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 on Tuesday. "

"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."

Missing the first reulgar seasosn game will cost Smith one game check, which is worth $352,941.

With his suspensing upheld Smith can attend team meetings prior to the final two preseason games, but he cannot work out with the team.

Beginning on Aug. 31 Smith cannot take part in any team activities and will be reinstated Sept. 10, one day after the regular season opener.

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