ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – Getting suspended a game and fined $50,000 for his hit on Houston quarterback Matt Schaub isn’t going to make Denver Broncos middle linebacker Joe Mays change his style.
“I’m going to keep playing the way I’ve been playing, the way that I was taught to play the game,” Mays said Monday after he was reinstated. “I’m not going to hold back at all. I may try to be safe a little bit, I guess. But as far as me holding back the way I play, no. Hard to the whistle.”
Mays, whose hit sent Schaub’s helmet and a chunk of his left ear flying, was also fined $50,000 but got to keep his $200,000-plus game check from Sunday.
“I was definitely happy about that,” said Mays, who watched the Broncos’ 37-6 win over Oakland at home with his family. “You don’t want to get a game check taken away from you, but at the same time, I still wanted to play, being the competitor that I am, and it (stunk) being at home watching it. But I’m just glad these guys took care of business.”
Mays immediately apologized to Schaub for the nasty hit during the Broncos’ 31-25 loss to the Texans at Denver on Sept. 23. Mays said he didn’t intend to hurt Schaub and the quarterback accepted his apologies.
Mays said he appreciated the words of support last week from his coach, John Fox, and his teammates, who said Mays wasn’t a dirty player but a hard-hitting, speedy linebacker who got caught in no man’s land when Schaub ducked his head after releasing a pass with Mays bearing down on him.
Mays said he can’t bring himself to pull back but will do everything he can to avoid an illegal hit and the accompanying punishment from the league.
“That’s how I approach the game; that’s how I’m going to continue to approach the game,” Mays said. “I’ll just try to make sure that I stay out of these situations that I just put myself in.”
Mays returned to the Broncos on Monday along with second-year tight end Virgil Green, who had been suspended four games for violating the league’s banned-substances policy. Green said he took prescribed medication that contained a banned ingredient that he wasn’t aware of.
Green was walking around with a big smile after having to stay away from the team for the first month of the season.
“I woke up this morning, I couldn’t even stay in bed,” he said. “I just got up, started listening to music, getting my day going, getting back to my old ways. Today was much like Christmas Day, coming in and opening some gifts. Got a nice little pen ready to use. I’m excited.”
Notes: The Broncos released linebacker Mike Mohamed, whom they had promoted from their practice squad Saturday.
By ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Pro Football Writer
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