The NFL will suspend Texans defensive end Antonio Smith for one regular-season game and Houston's remaining two preseason games for forcibly removing the helmet of Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito and then dangerously swinging it at his face, a league source told ESPN.
He was also fined an undisclosed amount for the incident. Smith will be appealing the fine and one-game regular-season suspension, a league source told ESPN.
Even though the incident took place in a preseason game, the league decided it was appropriate to discipline Smith by forcing him to miss a regular-season game and to forfeit that game check.
The incident occurred during the second quarter of Saturday's preseason game when Incognito was attempting to block Smith. Incognito appeared to grab the face mask of Smith, who retaliated by ripping off Incognito's helmet and swinging it at the veteran lineman.
Smith declined to talk about the scuffle, telling reporters after the game that he "took a blow to the head. I can't remember."
Smith's history was another factor in the decision.
Smith was fined $21,000 last season for kicking Incognito, a penalty that was reduced to $11,000 after Smith appealed, saying he was retaliating to Incognito's intentionally twisting his right ankle.
Incognito tweeted about Saturday night's events on Tuesday.
Football is an intense game. Blood runs hot.... I've been there. Emotions run high. People lost their cool. Thank God no one got hurt
— Richie incognito (@68INCOGNITO) August 20, 2013
ESPN NFL Insiders Adam Schefter and Ed Werder and ESPN.com Texans reporter Tania Ganguli contributed to this report.