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Texas DE Smith loses appeal

The SportsXchange

Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith lost his suspension appeal and will miss the season opener, ESPN reported Friday.

Smith was suspended for forcing off the helmet of Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito and swinging it at him during the team's preseason game last Saturday.

Part of Smith's punishment is that he also has to miss the Texans' last two preseason games. He will lose about $400,000 in salary.

Smith is allowed to practice through Aug. 30, but after that is ineligible to participate in team activities until Sept. 10.

Houston opens the regular season Sept. 9 at the San Diego Chargers.

"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.

"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 said Incognito started the altercation by hitting him in the face mask.

"It was a deliberate punch to my face," Smith said. "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 and Incognito also had a confrontation during last year's preseason opener between the two teams. After the game, Smith complained that Incognito tried to injure his ankle. The NFL fined Smith $21,000 for kicking Incognito but it was reduced to $11,000 after an appeal.
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