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 co-ordinator 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."