Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith has reportedly been fined $21,000 by the NFL for kicking Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito during the two teams’ match-up this past Sunday.
The incident in question occurred after Miami running back Daniel Thomas fumbled the ball at the end of the second quarter.
After the fumble, Incognito allegedly latched onto Smith’s ankle to prevent him from going after the loose ball.
According to Smith, who has been working through an ankle injury this week, the Miami guard held on to his leg too long and was “squeezing” and “turning” his ankle in an attempt to re-injure him. In retaliation, the 30-year-old DE kicked Incognito in the helmet in order to loosen his grip.
”If you’re going strictly by the rule book, me kicking him was breaking the rules,” Smith said Friday. ”But I want them (the NFL) to look at why I was kicking him, trying to get him off of my ankle. You see on the film, the moment my ankle came free, I stopped. I was just trying to get my ankle free from him mauling it.”
Following the incident, Incognito — who was not fined — defended his use of excessive force on Smith’s ankle, claiming he was simply protecting himself from being kicked.
“I have seen the video,” Incognito said. “Once the ball was fumbled, I grabbed his legs to stop him from recovering the fumble. It’s clear that I wrap my arms around both his legs. I was trying to keep him from scrambling to the ball.
“After the ball was recovered, I felt him kicking me. I was trying to protect myself. Kind of like a turtle in a shell. At no time was I turning his ankle. My intent was to keep him from getting to the ball.”
Smith, who said he would appeal the fine, is expected to play when the Texans take the field against Jacksonville on Sunday.
Watch the video of the Smith – Incognito kicking incident below and let us know what you think.
Do you think Richie Incognito attempting to injure Antonio Smith? Was Smith justified in kicking the Miami guard?