Matt Schaub, Torrey Smith demonstrate toughness

September 24, 2012 – 12:10 am by Hickey

You’ve got to be tough to play in the NFL. And on Sunday, there might not have been anyone tougher physically or mentally than Matt Schaub and Torrey Smith.

Schaub showed he can take a hit — even an illegal one — in the Texans 31-25 win over the Broncos. And withstand a lost chunk of earlobe.

Denver linebacker Joe Mays delivered a cheap shot on Schaub’s head in the third quarter, causing the Houston quarterback to lose a piece of his left earlobe. He stayed in the game — but not before barking at Denver’s defensive players following their second-straight roughing the passer penalty — and finished 17 of 30 for 290 yards and four touchdowns.

As crazy as it sounds, Schaub may have been the second-toughest guy to play football today.

Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith received a call around 2 a.m. Sunday morning that his 19-year-old younger brother was killed in a motorcycle accident. It’s unimaginable for anyone to lose a sibling, but even tougher considering that Smith was essentially a father figure for his younger siblings growing up in Virginia.

The Ravens gave Smith the option of skipping Sunday night’s game against the Patriots, and had the game had a noon kickoff it’s impossible to imagine that he would not have exercised such an option.

But Smith opted to play in prime time, and delivered a most compelling performance to honor his brother’s memory. Smith finished with six catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns in Baltimore’s 31-30 win over New England.

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