The NFL has changed its ruling on George Iloka following his penalized hit on Steelers receiver Antonio Brown in the Bengals’ Monday night game. After suspending the Bengals safety for one game, the league overturned its ruling on Wednesday, reducing the suspension to a mere fine. The fine will be $36,464.50.
Here’s a look at the play that caused the initial suspension and now fine.
The play which initially got Iloka suspended was a hit on Brown during Monday’s clash between the two AFC North rivals. It was clearly an unnecessary hit to the head that absolutely deserved a flag and a fine, but a suspension seemed too harsh for a player like Iloka, who has a clean record in his six-year NFL career. The fourth-quarter play resulted in a touchdown and tied up the game for the first time after the Bengals led throughout.
Steelers wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster was suspended for a hit on Vontaze Burfict in the same game. His suspension was upheld by the league and he will not play when the Steelers take on the Ravens this weekend. Not only did he have an illegal and dirty hit on the Bengals’ linebacker, but he taunted him afterward, too.
With Iloka now back in the lineup, the Bengals’ safety depth looks a lot more promising for their Week 14 matchup with the Chicago Bears. Shawn Williams is already iffy to play with a hamstring injury, so not having Iloka would have been a brutal loss for an already-thin position. There’s also word that backup Brandon Wilson was injured on a special teams play against the Steelers.
Iloka’s agent, Ron Slavin released this statement following the ruling:
Statement from George Iloka’s agent Ron Slavin following the reduction of his client’s suspension from a suspension to a fine. pic.twitter.com/KxkRwe9gP1— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) December 6, 2017