The Houston Texans lost a number of starts on their defense this past offseason, and now, they’ll be without one more for the regular season opener vs. the San Diego Chargers after the appeal of defensive end Antonio Smith was denied today.
The NFL is punishing Smith for ripping the helmet off of Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito Saturday and then allegedly trying to hit him with it. Smith said he did not try to do that, and instead, restrained himself from making contact with his helmet into Incognito, but that argument didn’t hold up in front of an appeals committee.
“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,” Smith told KRIV-TV in Houston.
This isn’t the first situation Smith has found himself in with Incognito. Last season, during the Texans’ season opener vs. the Dolphins, he complained about what he called dirty play from Incognito and said he was trying to injure his ankle. The NFL disagreed, fining Smith $21,000 for kicking Incognito. The fine was reduced to $11,000 on appeal.