Originally written on BroncoTalk  |  Last updated 9/25/12

(Image courtesy of Chris Hall/BroncosTV)

The NFL has just announced that they will be suspending Denver Broncos middle linebacker Joe Mays for one game due to a hit he delivered Sunday to Houston Texans‘ quarterback Matt Schaub. The hit left Schaub missing a portion of his earlobe.

Mays has apologized to Schaub twice and Schaub accepted, but apologies and accepted apologies are not enough in this NFL. Mays was fined two weeks ago the NFL minimum ($7,875) for a hit against Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.

This one is going to be a bit more pricey, Mays is fined $50,000 for the hit on Schaub and will also lose a game check.

Mays could appeal the decision, but for now he will not be allowed to attend the Broncos’ facility in Dove Valley nor will he be allowed to play this Sunday as the Broncos face the Oakland Raiders at home.

Denver is already a bit thin at linebacker, after losing DJ Williams to a six-game suspension. Undrafted rookie Steven Johnson is listed behind Mays on the depth chart and could likely see a start unless, the Broncos see fit to rotate the roster somehow. Both Nate Irving (who was knocked out of Sunday’s game with a concussion) and starting outside linebacker Wesley Woodyard have middle linebacker experience.

With Mays being out of the line-up it could be a golden opportunity to see the rookie Johnson who stood out in training camp and the preseason. Johnson has been inactive on the Broncos roster since week one.

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