ENGLEWOOD, Colo.-- Broncos linebacker Joe Mays received a one-game suspension and a $50,000 fine from the NFL for the hit that dislodged Texans quarterback Matt Schaub s helmet and took off a piece of his ear.
Mays will appeal the fine and suspension, a person familiar with the process told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Broncos hadn t yet notified the NFL of the decision. According to NFL rules, the appeal will be heard and decided before Sunday s game against the Oakland Raiders.
Mays drew a roughing-the-passer penalty for the third-quarter hit on Schaub, who left the field with blood flowing from his ear and missed one play before returning. Schaub threw for four touchdowns in Houston s 31-25 win last Sunday.
If he loses the appeal, Mays wouldn t be able to practice with the Broncos this week or be at the team s headquarters. Mays would be reinstated next Monday.
When asked after the game if he expected to be fined, Mays said: Oh yeah. I m expecting that. But it was not my intention to do that.
Coach John Fox said Mays was not trying to intentionally hurt Schaub.
That s not Joe Mays, that s not what we teach, Fox said. It s accidental, playing football. You see it around the league every week.
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.
The latest Mays penalty came a day after the NFL levied a $30,000 fine against Fox and a $25,000 fine against defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio for verbal abuse of the officials during the Atlanta game.
The Broncos are already missing starting linebacker D.J. Williams, who is serving a six-game suspension for violating the league s banned-substance policy. Backup linebacker Nate Irving suffered a concussion in Sunday s game, and on Monday, Fox said he was day-to-day.