HOUSTON – Defensive end Antonio Smith lost his cool in a preseason game last Saturday, and it’s going to keep him out of the Houston Texans’ season opener.
Smith was suspended by the NFL for Week 1 of the regular season and the last two preseason games for hitting Miami guard Richie Incognito with the Dolphins player’s helmet.
Smith ripped the helmet off Incognito’s head, then hit the Dolphin on the shoulder with it. The two also went at it in last season’s opener, when Smith kicked Incognito, drawing an $11,000 fine. Smith later said Incognito deliberately tried to twist his ankle while holding his legs in the 2012 game.
Incognito was not fined.
Smith must sit out Houston’s visit to San Diego to begin the season Sept. 9. He also will lose about $400,000 in salary for his seventh rules violation since 2011.
“I’m disappointed in myself because I’ve got to make sure that my players keep their composure on the football field. That’s my job,” Houston Coach Gary Kubiak said. “They’ve got a job when they get out there to maintain their composure regardless of circumstances. There’s no excuses. We can’t hurt the team, and I talk to our guys about that all the time. If someone is going to miss some time, that hurts the team.”
Houston General Manager Rick Smith said the player will appeal the punishment.
BILLS: In granting Buffalo’s request to have newly re-signed safety Jairus Byrd not count on the roster, the NFL limited the exemption only through the team’s final two preseason games.
The ruling, announced by the league Wednesday, becomes the next step in clearing the way for the two-time Pro Bowl safety to open the season on the active roster.
BROWNS: Rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo remains sidelined with a bruised lung, a “freakish” injury the first-round pick believes he sustained last week on the opening kickoff of an exhibition against Detroit.
Mingo said he has been symptom-free since last week, but will not play in Saturday’s preseason game at Indianapolis.
• Wide receivers Greg Little and Josh Gordon have both received tickets for excessive speeding and their behavior has been deemed “unacceptable” by the team.
Little was involved in a single-car accident in April, when he admitted to driving 127 mph. He hit a guardrail, knocked down a light pole, left 40 yards of brake tracks and was fined $350.
Earlier this week, Little was cited for driving 81 mph in a 60 mph and for driving with expired plates.
Gordon was ticketed last week for driving 98 mph.
CARDINALS: Arizona signed Dan Carpenter to compete with Jay Feely as the team’s kicker.
Carpenter was released by the Miami Dolphins a week ago. He signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted rookie in 2008 and, coincidentally, took Feely’s job away from him there that season.
At 37, Feely is 10 years older than Carpenter.
Carpenter made 22 of 27 field goals last season. Feely made 25 of 28.
BUCCANEERS: Tampa Bay signed veteran kicker Rian Lindell, who spent the past 10 seasons with Buffalo, where he ranks second in Bills history with 225 field goals made and 980 points scored.
The Bucs signed the veteran of 13 seasons because pre-training camp acquisition Lawrence Tynes has a toe injury that has prevented him from kicking.
With Tynes out, Derek Dimke is 5 for 5 on field goal attempts in the preseason.
BEARS: Linebacker Jonathan Bostic was fined $21,000 for a hit on San Diego’s Mike Willie during last week’s preseason game against San Diego.
COWBOYS: Middle linebacker Sean Lee signed a six-year contract extension worth $42 million, but could escalate as high as $51 million depending on different incentives. The guaranteed money is $16 million.
EAGLES: Jason Peters is set to return to the offensive line and play three quarters Saturday against Jacksonville.
The five-time Pro Bowler missed all of 2012 with a ruptured right Achilles. He also missed the first two preseason games because of a sore hamstring.