ENGLEWOOD His appeal denied, Broncos linebacker Joe Mays will, in fact, miss a game for the hit that cost Texans quarterback Matt Schaub a piece of his ear.
And while the Denver coaches, already fined a combined $55,000 this season for their conduct, might not be in any position to complain, cornerback Champ Bailey certainly isnt holding back.
A lot of its bogus to me, Bailey said.
Mays had his appeal rejected by the NFL on Thursday, meaning the $50,000 fine and one-game suspension he received earlier this week stands. Hell miss Sundays game against Oakland and wont be allowed back to Denvers facility until next Monday.
Its the latest bit of bad news the NFL has sent to the Broncos. Coach John Fox was fined $30,000 and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio $25,000 for their sideline conduct with the substitute officials. Other than announcing Mays suspension would stand, Fox said very little about the NFL decision. Del Rio did concede that it was a great hit three years ago, but its not acceptable now.
Its been emphasized, Del Rio said. Its one of those things. Theyre bang-bang plays in the NFL. Those things are going to happen. Thats why they wear helmets.
Schaubs helmet flew off after the hit by Mays, and the quarterback grabbed his head with both hands. He had blood dripping from his ear and missed one play. After the game, he said he lost a chunk of his ear but was otherwise OK.
Mays insisted he wasnt trying to go at Schaubs head and said he apologized more than once to the Texans quarterback for the hard hit.
Bailey called the Mays fine a prime example of the league overreacting to a hit to the head.
They dont really look into what his intentions are, Bailey said. Things kind of happen so fast, and I think if that guys helmet didnt come off, and he didnt come out of the game, none of this would be happening. Its all about perception. When they think somethings going a certain way, then they want to jump on it and act fast and make it seem like theyre trying to protect us.
The Broncos also are missing linebacker D.J. Williams, out six games for violating the leagues banned-substances policy. Another backup linebacker, Nate Irving, didnt practice Thursday because hes still recovering from a concussion suffered last Sunday.
Listed behind Mays on the depth chart is rookie Steven Johnson. Veteran Keith Brooking also could see more playing time.
Brooking also weighed in on Mays suspension. He said the replay made it look like Mays was going for the shoulders, and Schaubs head lowered ever so slightly as he threw, which created an ugly collision.
The rule states what it states, Brooking said. So, obviously the league, they have their way of doing things. I think when you look at it when you play the game, you can tell when theres intent and when theres not. I dont think on Joes play there was intent to go for his head.