Texans' Antonio Smith suspended for hitting opponent with helmet




Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith was suspended by the NFL on Wednesday for the season opener 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 Incognito on the shoulder with it in last Saturday night’s preseason game. 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 for that play.

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.

• Running back Arian Foster was removed from the physically unable to perform list and practiced with the Texans on Wednesday for the first time since May. Foster strained his right calf in an off-season practice in late May and struggled with a sore back after recovering from that injury.


FALCONS: Anyone who bought an Osi Umenyiora No. 90 jersey after he signed with Atlanta is going to be in for a surprise. The defensive end is now wearing No. 50.

“My folks said they didn’t like didn’t like 90 on me,” Umenyiora said.


REDSKINS: Robert Griffin III moved a step closer toward a Week 1 return Wednesday when he took full-speed, full-team snaps against the first-string defense for the first time since his
knee surgery.

The Sept. 9 Monday night regular season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles is less than three weeks away.

“My eyes are set on Philly,” Griffin said.

To achieve that goal, he must get the OK from his surgeon, Dr. James Andrews.


COWBOYS: Middle linebacker Sean Lee signed a six-year contract extension Wednesday, a deal that goes through the 2019 season.

The deal is worth about $42 million, but could escalate as high as $51 million depending on different incentives.


STEELERS: Rookie running back Le’Veon Bell has been ruled out of Saturday’s game against Kansas City with a right foot injury.

Bell underwent an MRI on Tuesday and coach Mike Tomlin said he will wait for a second opinion before making a determination about Bell’s long-term status.


EAGLES: Jason Peters’ wait to return to the starting lineup is over.

Peters is set to return to the offensive line and play three quarters Saturday night against Jacksonville. He missed all of the 2012 season after he ruptured his right Achilles. He also missed the first two preseason games because of a sore hamstring.


PACKERS: Getting Aaron Rodgers back after a sick day wasn’t enough to keep Packers coach Mike McCarthy from being in a somewhat sour mood.

His quarterback looked just fine Wednesday after sitting out a practice because of illness. The team as whole? Not so much.

“Today was the final practice to get ready for the Seahawks,” McCarthy said, referring to Green Bay’s preseason opponent Friday night. “We were in pads today for a reason. We didn’t take full advantage of the opportunity to get ready to play.”


CARDINALS: 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.

In Miami, Carpenter lost out to Caleb Sturgis, a fifth-round draft pick.