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Broncos MLB Joe Mays suspension upheld, won't play Sunday versus Raiders

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Denver Broncos head coach, John Fox, said in a press conference today that the NFL has denied Joe Mays appeal of his one game suspension this week. This means he will not be in the lineup this Sunday when the Broncos host the Raiders in Denver.

Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The suspension handed down to Mays was for a vicious hit he laid on Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. The hit was a blow to the head which knocked Schaub's helmet off and caused a severe laceration to his ear. Mays was also fined $50,000 for the hit.

Mays had started at middle linebacker for the Broncos the past two seasons. He had 83 tackles last season for a suddenly stout Broncos defense. This season he has 10 total tackles including a half a sack.

Replacing Mays as the Broncos' starting middle linebacker is expected to be Keith Brooking. Brooking is in his 15th NFL season. He spent the past two seasons with the Cowboys after being the everyday starting linebacker for the Falcons the first 11 years of his career. This season with the Broncos, he has started two games while splitting time at weakside linebacker with Wesley Woodyard.

Brooking hasn't played middle linebacker since 2007 with the Falcons so it is hard to say what to expect from him. But the Broncos being without their starting middle linebcker can only be good news for Darren McFadden and the Raiders.