Denver linebacker Joe Mays suspended, fined $50,000

This hit on Houston QB Matt Schaub cost Denver's Joe Mays a one-game suspension and a $50,000 fine from the NFL.

Denver Broncos linebacker Joe Mays received a one-game suspension and a $50,000 fine from the NFL for the hit that dislodged Texans quarterback Matt Schaub’s helmet and took off a piece of his ear.


Mays will appeal the fine and suspension, a person familiar with the process told The Associated Press.

According to NFL rules, the appeal will be heard and decided before Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders.

PANTHERS: The struggling team is at a crossroads less than a month into the NFL season.

At 1-2, Carolina runs the risk of falling three games behind the NFC South-leading Falcons (3-0) if the Panthers don’t get things straightened away before Sunday’s game against Matt Ryan and company in Atlanta.

Still, Carolina coach Ron Rivera said it’s not time to panic. Rivera said he’s not planning any lineup changes in the wake of the team’s slow start.

BROWNS: Coach Pat Shurmur said that he’s considering changes to the lineup for his winless team and made it clear that if Greg Little, whose on-field antics have angered some fans, doesn’t do a better job of holding onto quarterback Brandon Weeden’s passes then he’ll lose his starting job.

Beyond Little’s case of the drops, the Browns have also been counseling him on posing like Olympic track star Usain Bolt after making a catch. On both his receptions against the Bills, Little struck Bolt’s signature “lightning” pose, drawing back his arms like an archer and pointing skyward.

REDSKINS: Veteran running back Ryan Grant was expected to sign Tuesday night with Washington, according to a source.

A former standout at Notre Dame who spent five years with the Packers, Grant averaged 5.4 yards per carry in two games last season against the Bears. He’s rushed for 4,016 yards and 25 touchdowns.