Report: George Iloka Wins Appeal, Avoids Suspension for Hit on Antonio Brown

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2017

FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2017, file photo, Cincinnati Bengals free safety George Iloka is shown after an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, in Nashville, Tenn. Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and Cincinnati Bengals cornerback George Iloka have been suspended one game each by the NFL for violating league safety rules. Smith-Schuster was flagged for unnecessary roughness and taunting after a blindside hit on Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict in the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh's 23-20 victory Monday night, Dec. 5. Iloka was penalized for unnecessary roughness for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. (AP Photo/James Kenney, File)
James Kenney/Associated Press

Cincinnati Bengals safety George Iloka reportedly won his appeal and will not be suspended for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown in Week 13. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the NFL overturned Iloka's one-game suspension, making him eligible to play in Week 14 against the Chicago Bears.   

Schefter added that Iloka will receive a fine of $36,464.50 instead of being suspended. 

Iloka was flagged for an illegal hit to the helmet of Brown after the Steelers wideout caught a touchdown pass with 3:51 remaining in the fourth quarter. 

Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who was suspended one game for an illegal hit on Vontaze Burfict in the same contest, reacted to the news:

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan explained the league's decision to suspend Iloka when the punishment was initially handed down Tuesday, via NFL.com's Kevin Patra

"On a play which began with 3:55 left in the game, you violently struck a defenseless receiver in the head and neck area. The Competition Committee has clearly expressed its goal of 'eliminating flagrant hits that have no place in our game' and has encouraged the league office to suspend offenders for egregious violations such as the one you committed last night."

A fifth-round pick out of Boise State by the Bengals in 2012, Iloka has been a starter in the secondary for the past five seasons. The 27-year-old has 60 combined tackles, four passes defensed and one interception in 12 games this season.