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George Iloka's one-game suspension reduced to fine

It won't come cheap, but George Iloka's one-game suspension has been wiped away.

The league announced Wednesday that appeals officer Derrick Brooks has reduced the Bengals safety's punishment to a $36,464.50 fine.

Iloka was flagged for an illegal hit to the helmet of Steelers wideout Antonio Brown on a game-tying touchdown catch in Pittsburgh's 23-20 win over the Bengals on Monday night.

Iloka's camp quickly responded to the appeal result:

Monday night's rough-and-tumble Bengals-Steelers affair was tainted from the start by a frightening spinal injury to Pittsburgh linebacker Ryan Shazier and seven "extracurricular" penalties, the most in a game all season.

The AFC North grudge match also saw Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster net a one-game ban for a vicious peel-back block on Vontaze Burfict, which forced the Bengals linebacker to be carted off the field with a head injury.

Following the hit, Smith-Schuster stood over Burfict in menacing fashion, quickly drawing a taunting flag from officials and the one-game suspension from the NFL, which was not reduced upon appeal.

Iloka's reduced punishment makes him eligible to play Sunday against the Bears in a game the Bengals must desperately win for any shot to net a wild-card berth.

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