The NFL made it official, suspending Houston Texans defensive Antonio Smith without pay for the final two preseason games and for the fopening regular-season game for a flagrant violation of NFL safety rules against the Miami Dolphins.
Smith ripped off the helmet of Dolphins guard Richie Incognito and then swung the helmet at his face.
Smith may attend team meetings prior to the next two preseason games, but will not participate in practice or play in the Texans’ games on Sunday, Aug. 25 against the New Orleans Saints and Aug. 29 against the Dallas Cowboys. Beginning on Aug.31, Smith is suspended for the first week of the regular season and may not take part in any team activities, including a Sept. 9 game against the San Diego Chargers. He will be reinstated on Sept. 10.
Smith violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 16 (page 71) of the NFL Rule Book, which states: “A player may not use a helmet that is no longer worn by anyone as a weapon to strike, swing at, or throw at an opponent.”
Smith can appeal and is expected to appeal the punishment within three business days, and an expedited hearing before appeals officers Matt Birk or Ted Cottrell could be heard and dediced this week.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.