The NFL is expected to suspend Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith up to two preseason games for swinging a helmet at the head of Miami Dolphins offensive guard Richie Incognito, ESPN reports. The suspension is expected to be announced Tuesday.
The incident occurred during the Texans' 24-17 win Saturday night. Smith was lined up at three-technique over Incognito as quarterback Ryan Tannehill dropped back on a play-action pass in the first quarter. The Texans' defensive line was able to get to Tannehill, but Smith was stymied by Incognito.
Texans blog Battle Red Blog broke down the play (including GIFs) and determined that Incognito may have gotten away with a hands-to-the-face penalty, but not enough to justify Smith's use of a helmet as a weapon.
Smith and Incognito have a history of altercations. Last season, Smith was fined for kicking Incognito during the regular season opener. Smith maintained that he was trying to protect himself, and that Incognito had purposely tried to twist his injured ankle during the game. Smith appealed the $21,000 fine.