NFL reviewing helmet-swinging incident by Texans DE Antonio Smith (Video)

Brian McIntyre
Shutdown Corner

Jay Glazer of FOX Sports 1 reports the National Football League is reviewing an incident on Saturday night where Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith removed the helmet of Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito and then swung the helmet at Incognito, nearly making contact with his face.

From the video shown on FOX, the altercation occurred after Incognito appeared to have gotten away with what could have been an "illegal use of the hands" penalty after spending most of the play with his hands in Smith's face. Smith responded by ripping Incognito's helmet off and, with his left hand, swung the helmet in the direction of the head of Incognito, who was able to dodge the helmet before it landed.

Smith and Incognito have a history of on-field fights. Smith was fined $21,000 for kicking Incognito during the Texans' 30-10 win over the Dolphins in Week 1 of the 2012 season. Smith claimed that Incognito had been holding and twisting Smith's ankle, and his fine was reduced to $11,000 upon appeal. The NFL chose not to fine Incognito for the incident.

Smith played the ignorance card after the game when asked about the incident by CSNHouston, saying he couldn't remember what happened because "it's a long game."

In 2011, Smith was fined $7,500 for ripping the helmet off of then-Baltimore Ravens guard Andre Gurode during a game. Given Smith's history of post-whistle incidents, and that he could have inflicted considerable damage by using a weapon (a helmet) and a non-football action on Incognito, a multi-game suspension and severe fine for Smith would be warranted in this incident, which is drawing comparisons to Albert Haynesworth's foot stomp on Gurode in 2006 and Ndamukong Suh's foot stomp on Green Bay Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith in 2011.

Haynesworth was suspended five games without pay for his incident, while Suh was suspended for two games. A two-to-five game suspension for Smith would cost him between $706,000 and $1.765 million of his $6 million base salary for the upcoming season.

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