Joe Mays’ rough season comes to early end

Broncos linebacker Joe Mays’ season took a downhill turn in Week Three and kept dropping until skidding entirely off the road on Sunday night.

The Denver Post reports that Mays fractured his left fibula near the ankle while blocking on a punt return in the victory over the Saints. It’s the last blow in a series of bad turns for the linebacker after he signed a three-year deal with the Broncos before the season.

Mays was suspended for Week Four after hitting Texans quarterback Matt Schaub with a nasty shot to the head that wound up costing Schaub a bit of his ear. He returned to his role in the starting lineup in Week Five against the Patriots, but wound up getting moved to the bench after that game in favor of Keith Brooking. That left him to be on the field for the fateful punt return.

The Broncos will get a little more linebacker depth in a couple of weeks when D.J. Williams finishes serving the second of his two suspensions. Mays’ absence opens a possible role for Williams to fill as soon as he’s eligible to get back on the field. Williams’ suspension ends after the Broncos’ ninth game of the season against the Panthers on Nov. 11.