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League suspends Texan for opener

HOUSTON — The NFL suspended Texans defensive end Antonio Smith on Wednesday for the final two preseason games and first regular-season game.

He ripped the helmet off the head of Dolphins guard Richie Incognito on Saturday and hit him on the shoulder with it.

The two also went at it during last season's opener as Smith kicked Incognito, drawing an $11,000 fine. Smith later said Incognito tried to twist his ankle while holding his legs.

Smith will sit out the game at San Diego and lose about $400,000 in salary.

"I'm disappointed in myself because I've got to make sure that my players keep their composure," 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."

The Texans said league rules forbid Smith from commenting while suspended, but he will appeal.

More Texans: Running back Arian Foster, out all camp with back and right calf injuries, practiced. Kubiak said he doesn't expect Foster to play in either of the final two preseason games but still be ready for the regular season.

Bears: Former Gators linebacker Jonathan Bostic was fined $21,000 for a hit on Chargers receiver Mike Willie on Aug. 15, multiple media outlets reported. The league ruled the receiver was defenseless and Bostic made contact with the top of his helmet.

Bills: The league gave the team a roster exemption for safety Jairus Byrd, who signed his franchise player tender of one year, $6.9 million late Tuesday but hasn't passed a physical. The team can carry one extra player until Aug. 31.

Cardinals: Kicker Dan Carpenter, released by the Dolphins last week, signed. He will compete with former Jesuit High standout Jay Feely.

Cowboys: Linebacker Sean Lee signed a six-year extension worth about $42 million ($16 million guaranteed) and $51 million with incentives. In 2011, his second season, he had a team-high 131 tackles. He had 77 in six games in 2012 before a season-ending torn ligament in his right big toe. Also, cornerback Morris Claiborne ran for the first time since jamming his left knee Aug. 6.

Giants: David Diehl, who because of other injuries was moved from right tackle to left guard on Tuesday, will miss six weeks with a right thumb injury that requires surgery. The team did not disclose details of the injury.

Jets: Quarterback Mark Sanchez said he is "assuming" rookie Geno Smith will start Saturday against the Giants. Sanchez said they haven't been told, but Smith has worked with the first-team offense for three consecutive days. Sanchez did the same last week before his start.

Steelers: Rookie running back Le'Veon Bell, who moved atop the depth chart last week, will miss 6-8 weeks with a right Lisfranc (mid foot) injury, ESPN and the NFL Network reported.

Hall of Fame: Ex-Raiders punter Ray Guy and former defensive end Claude Humphrey are the senior committee's nominations. They automatically advanced to the final stage of voting. This marks the eighth time Guy, a three-time All-Pro, has been a finalist. Humphrey was a two-time All-Pro with the Falcons (1968-78) and Eagles (1979-81).

Veterans sue: Ten former players — including Hall of Famers John Riggins, Dave Casper, Tom Mack, Curley Culp and Ron Yary — sued the league over NFL Films using their images without their consent. The NFL said it should be covered by its $50 million settlement with a group of retired players who sought similar rights.

League suspends Texan for opener 08/21/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 10:29pm]
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