Matt Schaub lost part of his ear during the Texans’ win in Denver on Sunday, and the action isn’t going unpunished.
Broncos middle linebacker Joe Mays was the guilty party in the gruesome hit that saw Schaub’s earlobe cut in half, and now he’ll pay the price for his action. Mays will be suspended one game and fined $50,000 for the hit, the NFL announced Tuesday.
Mays laid the brutal hit on Schaub during the third quarter of Sunday’s game, leading with his helmet and sending the quarterback flying to the turf. The suspension isn’t for the injury to Schaub, but rather Mays’ helmet-to-helmet hit on the quarterback.
Mays apologized to Schaub on the field after the game, again inside the locker room area, and on Monday emphasized the fact that he, by no means, meant to injure Schaub on the play.
“I don’t want people to think I’m a dirty player or a headhunter or anything like that. I just play fast,” Mays said.
The apology apparently didn’t change the league’s decision on the matter, though, as it was determined that the hit was vicious enough to earn a one-game ban. Mays plans on appealing the suspension, according to NFL.com.
This marks Mays’ second disciplinary offense this season, and the suspension is likely the NFL sending a message to Mays that this sort of reckless play is unacceptable. The fifth-year linebacker was fined $7,875 by the league for a late hit on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan just last week.
Check out video of Mays’ hit on Schaub below.