Mays suspended for Schaub hit

Posted: September 26, 2012

How much is an earlobe worth? The NFL has set the price.

Denver Broncos linebacker Joe Mays received a one-game suspension on Monday and a $50,000 fine from the erstwhile pro football league for Sunday's helmet-to-jaw hit on Houston's Matt Schaub that dislodged Texans quarterback's headgear - and, oh yeah, took off a piece of his right ear with it.

Mays drew a roughing-the-passer penalty for the third-quarter hit on Schaub, who left the field bloody, but only missed one play before returning to throw for four touchdowns in Houston's 31-25 win. (Tough guy.)

It may not be as big a story as Monday night's debacle, because it only resulted in a lost body part, not a lost game. But you have to figure that Mays might think the replacement refs give him some leeway. He'd already racked up a $7,875 fine in Week 2 because of a head-hunting late hit on Atlanta's Matt Ryan after the Falcons quarterback had slid to declare himself down. That play drew no penalty, possibly because it drew no blood.

Asked after the Texans game if he expected to be fined for the hit on Schaub, Mays said he did, but he evidently didn't expect to be suspended.

Mays will appeal, 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 Oakland, which should come as relief to Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer.

Radio, radio

Everybody else in the country may be weighing in on the replacement refs, but New England's Tom Brady is staying out of it.

The Patriots quarterback's team lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 31-30, on a last-play field goal that sailed high over the right upright and caused Pats coach Bill Belichick to chase a ref and get grabby.

"I feel like these guys are doing the best they can do," Brady said of the refs, speaking on his radio show on Tuesday.

It would be "the easy way out" to blame officials for the losses, he added.

On his radio show, meanwhile, Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers sounded like he was still a mite peeved about the Monday night call that gave Seattle a 14-12 win over the Packers.

"I just feel bad for the fans," Rodgers said on the show. "They pay good money and the game is being tarnished by an NFL who obviously cares more about saving a little money then having the integrity of the game diminish a little bit."

Rodgers spent part of his show reading, and deriding, an NFL-issued statement.

"Our sport is generated, the multibillion dollar machine is generated, by people coming to watch us play," Rodgers said. "And the product that is on the field is not being complemented by an appropriate set of officials. The games are getting out of control."

(The fine notification is in the mail, big guy.)

Police: Player drunk

The police officer who arrested Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham said Abraham was "obviously intoxicated" as he refused requests to leave an area taped off by firefighters and police on Monday night.

Abraham's arrest came as firefighters and police responded to a report of a woman threatening to jump from a hotel window. Officials said the woman did not jump.

Punter gets punted

It's not just the Eagles booting punters.

After 12 seasons, the Buffalo Bills will have a punter not named Brian Moorman. Moorman, who played in 179 straight games since signing as a free agent for the Bills in the summer of 2001, was released Tuesday in a move that general manager Buddy Nix deemed necessary in order to "upgrade at the position."

How did they upgrade? By bringing in Shawn Powell, the guy who lost a competition to Moorman in training camp.

Contact Michael Harrington at

This article contains information from the Associated Press.


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