HOUSTON — Joe Mays' wife was concerned when he signed with the Texans less than a year after his hit on Matt Schaub took a chunk out of the quarterback's ear.
"She was hoping that I didn't get jumped in the locker room," the linebacker said.
She had nothing to worry about. Mays practiced with the Texans for the first time Wednesday and got a warm welcome.
"We talked. It's over with," said Mays, who played for the Broncos at the time of the hit. "Hopefully, the fans can accept me. I know how mad they were about it."
Schaub brushed off any notion he was mad at Mays.
"That was gone as soon as we walked off the field that day," he said of the hit, which resulted in a one-game suspension and $50,000 fine. "It's just a physical, hard-nosed game, and he's a physical player. It's just part of football, and I don't fault him for that. He's a good player and a good guy."
Mays, 28, signed a three-year, $12 million contract with Denver before last season. But he lost his starting job a couple of weeks after the hit and broke his left leg soon after that. He reported to camp healthy. But Denver had depth at linebacker and released him last week to save salary cap space.
Mays said he will do whatever is asked in Houston.
"I definitely don't mind playing special teams because that's how I made it in the league," he said. "Now I'm just trying to do whatever I can to get on the defense."
Manning, ex-Colts teammate reunited
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Ryan Lilja will come out of retirement to reunite with Peyton Manning. The veteran offensive lineman agreed to terms with the Broncos, who lost starting center Dan Koppen to a torn left ACL on Sunday.
Lilja, who turns 32 in October, played with Manning in Indianapolis for six seasons. There, he was a guard. But the 6-foot-2, 290-pounder played center for the Chiefs last season.
More Broncos: Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie left practice early after hurting his left ankle during a drill. ESPN.com reported it was a high ankle sprain, but coach John Fox said he was "not overly" concerned.
Bills: Defensive end Mario Williams will rest his left foot and hopes to return to practice by the weekend. The team declined to disclose which foot was hurt after he missed practice Sunday. And neither side disclosed specifics of the injury after he returned to camp late Tuesday. Wednesday, the team said he left camp to visit a North Carolina-based foot specialist.
Browns: Receiver Josh Gordon remains out with patellar tendinitis but is expected back this week.
Colts: Cornerback Greg Toler, who is battling for a starting job, left practice after sustaining a concussion. The team did not disclose how it happened.
Dolphins: Receiver Brian Hartline sat out practice two days after appearing to sustain a minor injury. The team did not disclose if Hartline was hurt.
Jaguars: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert practiced on a limited basis two days after spraining his right ankle. He said he expects to be full-go today.
Simpson case: O.J. Simpson won a small victory as Nevada granted him parole on some of his 2008 convictions for kidnapping and armed robbery involving two sports memorabilia dealers. But because he was convicted of multiple charges, he faces at least four more years in prison on sentences that were ordered to run consecutively.