Broncos linebacker Joe Mays was suspended and fined by the NFL Tuesday for his brutal helmet-to-helmet hit on Houston Texans QB Matt Schaub during the two teams’ match-up on Sunday.
The vicious hit, which came in the third quarter of the Texans 31-25 win over Denver, sent Schaub’s helmet flying, and, as it came off, it ripped a part of Schaub’s ear. Despite the injury, Schaub came out for only one play as the blood flow was stanched.
“I felt fine,” Schaub said after the game Sunday. “I just lost a piece of my ear. I was bleeding and my helmet came off. So, I had to come out for a play, but I was fine.”
At the time of the incident, commentators noted it was the second such hit in as many plays by a Broncos linebacker. Von Miller was also penalized for roughing the quarterback, though with a hit not as violent.
Mays, who was fined $50,000, is expected to miss Denver’s upcoming against the Oakland Raiders because of the hit and may not practice this week or be at the team practice facility or stadium for any other activities during the suspension.
He will be reinstated on Monday, October 1.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Mays will indeed be appealing his suspension.
“I know this: He doesn’t do it intentionally to hurt him,” Broncos coach John Fox said Monday, defending his player’s actions. “That’s not Joe Mays. That’s not what we teach. It’s accidental. Playing football. You see it around the league every week.”
KDVR notes that Mays’ hit on Matt Schuab was the second time this year the Denver linebacker has drawn a fine due to roughing the passer.
The NFL fined Mays $7,875 after Week 2 because Mays hit Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan late and in the head area after Ryan had slid to declare himself down. The play did not draw a penalty.
Check out Joe Mays’ hit on Matt Schaub in the video below: