Steelers nose tackle Keeanu Benton aggravated his oblique injury against the Patriots; the rookie nose tackle told Corey Crisan of DK Pittsburgh Sports. Benton suffered the injury while trying to disengage from a block on a screen, and immediately toppled over in pain and stayed on the ground. That injury helped limit Benton’s snaps to just 17 on the day, putting him tied for third on the depth chart with Montravius Adams.
Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin believes that Benton will become a force in the NFL. He is on track to play more as the season progresses because of his growing skillset and comfortability in the defense. That should only give him more opportunities to play at a high level.
“A lot of potential, a lot of growth, and I love what I see from the young guy. He just continues to get better. I can’t say enough about him. I’m glad we got him, and I think he’s going to be a real force in that middle four for a while,” Austin said.
That means that Benton’s injury is something even more important to watch. He has nine days off to get back at it and heal for the Colts game. But the group will need him as their most explosive pass rusher at this stage in the season. The oblique injury happened at some point during their loss to the Cardinals and limited him all week leading up to the Thursday game against the Patriots.
The Indianapolis Colts await the Steelers on the road in what will be a must-win game for the team to keep their playoff hopes alive, but after two straight losses to 2-10 teams, Pittsburgh now has to prevent a snowballing event through the rest of the schedule.