In one of the bigger player safety punishments of the 2012 season, the NFL suspended Denver Broncos LB Joe Mays for one game and fined him $50,000 for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Matt Schaub that took out a chunk of his ear:
In addition to the 1-game suspension, Joe Mays was fined $50K for the hit on Schaub. Ouch.— Lindsay Jones (@PostBroncos) September 25, 2012
Mays, a fifth-year LB out of North Dakota State, is in his third year with the Broncos. The team signed him to a 3-year $12 million deal this off-season, with $4 million in his first year guaranteed.
Mays has 5 tackles and 0.5 sacks in the first three games of 2012, but his absence could be huge next Sunday, when Denver takes on an Oakland Raiders team that likes to pound the ball with Darren McFadden.
Schaub, despite writhing in pain after Mays' hit, was able to finish out the game for Houston and isn't expected to miss any time going forward.
This post originally appeared on SBNation.com.