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Joe Mays suspended one game for hit on Matt Schaub

Denver Broncos linebacker Joe Mays has been suspended one game and fined $50,000 by the NFL for his brutal hit on Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub on Sunday, according to NFL.com and NFL Network's Albert Breer.

The league confirmed the decision later Tuesday in a statement.


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Mays can't practice this week or be at the Broncos' practice facility or stadium for any other activities during the suspension. He will be reinstated Monday. Mays plans on appealing the ban.

Mays' helmet-to-helmet hit in the third quarter of Houston's 31-25 win knocked off Schaub's helmet and took a piece of the quarterback's ear with it. Schaub missed one play before returing to the game. Mays later apologized for injuring Schaub and added he wasn't a headhunter, just someone who "play(s) fast."

"I know this: He didn't do it intentionally to hurt him," Broncos coach John Fox said Monday, via The Denver Post. "That's not Joe Mays. That's not what we teach. It's accidental. Playing football."

The linebacker's immediate history likely played a part in the NFL's decision to suspend him. Mays was penalized and fined for roughing Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan in Week 2.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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