TAMPA, Florida — Steelers defensive tackle Keeanu Benton left the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with an ankle injury and will not return to the game, per Missi Matthews and the KDKA broadcast.
Benton had been having a strong game, racking up three tackles and a number of pressures before being forced out of the game. He suffered a right wrist injury during the Friday Night Lights practice, but the ankle injury seems to be new, which will end his day. Still, it was a promising debut and he looks like he could play early as long as the injury to Benton is not too serious.
The Steelers are already missing one rookie in cornerback Joey Porter Jr., who is not playing with a left ankle injury. Porter Jr. suffered the injury last Saturday and was seen having the injury wrapped. But he did not practice on Sunday. Then, Porter Jr. ended up only being limited on Wednesday after practicing in full on Tuesday,
There will be multiple top veteran players that are not playing. Minkah Fitzpatrick, T.J. Watt, Larry Ogunjobi, Patrick Peterson, and Cam Heyward will all not suit up for the game. The Buccaneers are not playing any of their defensive starters, and Pittsburgh is largely following that model.
Tre Norwood (right calf), John Lovett (undisclosed), Keanu Neal (undisclosed), and Damontae Kazee (left ankle) are all not playing as well. That means that Kenny Robinson and Miles Killebrew will likely start at safety, with others such as Trenton Thompson and Jalen Elliott should receive plenty of reps to rev up their chances at cracking the active roster or practice squad.
Alan Saunders provided reporting from Tampa.