Mack suspended one game for helmet-to-helmet hit on Ryan

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie cornerback Elbert Mack was suspended one game without pay by the NFL on Tuesday for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.

The league said the flagrant violation of player safety rules was the second in three games for the undrafted free agent, who was fined $5,000 for an unnecessary roughness foul against Houston Texans quarterback Alex Brink during the Bucs' preseason finale Aug. 28.

The hit against Ryan occurred Sunday when the NFL said Mack unnecessarily launched himself into the rookie quarterback and made helmet-to-helmet contact during an interception return play.

The suspension was imposed by NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson, who stated in a letter to Mack: "Your actions are of particular concern in light of the emphasis that our office has placed on developing and enforcing rules designed to protect players from injury, including concussions."