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Texans' Antonio Smith Suspension Appeal Denied

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Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images.
Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images.

Houston Texans DE Antonio Smith will be suspended for the remainder of the preseason in addition to the Texans’ season opener against the San Diego Chargers. The NFL denied his appeal in response to an on field incident with the Miami Dolphins’ Richie Incognito.

Smith’s suspension stemmed from the Texans’ preseason matchup with the Dolphins where Smith ripped off Incognito’s helmet and whipped it back at him, nearly hitting Incognito in the face. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin sent the play to the league office for review. 

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported today a senior member of the NFL appeals team, Ted Cottrell, had reviewed Smith’s appeal, giving the implication that a suspension of Smith was to be expected. 

The Houston Texans responded publicly to Smith's presumed suspension, providing their support of Smith, a team leader on defense. Coach Gary Kubiak took responsibility for Smith's actions and assured the media that the organization stands behind Smith. 

This wasn’t the first time both Smith and Incognito were involved in an on-field scuffle. Last season, the two teams met in the season opener when Incognito, who has a history of testing boundaries, stayed on top of Antonio Smith’s ankle for an extended period of time following a play, forcing Smith to retaliate by kicking Incognito. Smith claimed Incognito was out to injure Smith on the play, yet Smith ended up being fined $11,000 by the NFL following an appeal.