NFL denies Antonio Smith's appeal, suspension upheld
The NFL has denied the expedited appeal of Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith, upholding his suspension for the final two preseason games and one regular-season game.
The appeal was heard by former NFL defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, one of two appeals officers along with six-time Pro Bowl center Matt Birk.
Smith ripped off the helmet of Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito and then swung the helmet at his face during a preseason game, prompting the NFL punishment.
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.”
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.