(Reuters) - Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has had a one-game suspension rescinded, making him eligible for Sunday’s NFC wildcard game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Appeals officer Ted Cottrell reduced the discipline to a $70,000 fine, the National Football League (NFL) announced on Tuesday.
Suh on Monday was suspended by the league for one game for violating safety-related playing rules prohibiting unnecessary roughness.
But he appealed the penalty, handed down for stepping on the left leg of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s regular season finale.
With Rodgers in a defenseless posture, Suh backed up and stepped on the quarterback’s leg with his right foot before repeating the move with his left foot in a display of “unnecessary roughness”, the NFL said in a statement on Monday.
“You did not respond in the manner of someone who had lost his balance and accidentally contacted another player who was lying on the ground,” Merton Hanks, the NFL’s vice president of football operations, said.
“This illegal contact, specifically the second step and push off with your left foot, clearly could have been avoided.”
Suh has a long history of player-safety violations.
Cottrell is jointly appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association to hear and decide appeals for on-field player discipline.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes