ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The NFL has suspended Denver Broncos linebacker Joe Mays for one game and fined him $50,000 for an illegal hit against a defenseless player, the league said.
Mays hit Houston Texans' quarterback Matt Schaub helmet-on-helmet Sunday after Schaub had already gotten rid of the ball during the third quarter of Denver's 31-25 loss to Houston. The hit knocked the helmet off of Schaub's head and sent the quarterback to the sideline for treatment of a bloody ear injury.
The punishment announced Tuesday followed a relatively lighter penalty against Mays -- a $7,875 fine -- for a hit on Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan that was not penalized during the game the previous week.
Mays -- who has 10 tackles and one-half sack in three games this season, his fifth in the NFL -- drew a roughing the passer penalty for the hit on Schaub. He will appeal the suspension and fine, The Denver Post reported.
Mays has apologized twice to Schaub, and insists he did not intentionally injure the quarterback, the newspaper said.