PITTSBURGH — Steelers DT Keeanu Benton is back from his ankle injury and is dressed against the Buffalo Bills. Benton suffered the injury against the Buccaneers when he stepped on a player’s foot wrong after jumping to bat the ball down in the game. He dominated the game prior, and the Steelers are hoping to see a further varsity performance from Benton.
In addition to that, Joey Porter Jr. is set to make his NFL debut, and linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski will return from his shoulder injury. All of that makes the Steelers a rather healthy team going into the game against the Bills. They will be without Larry Ogunjobi (right ankle/foot), Tre Norwood (calf), and Nate Herbig (shoulder). Those three are inactive, while wide receiver Hakeem Butler is a surprise inactive. It is uncertain if that is due to injury or another circumstance that is preventing Butler was playing.
“Three guys that are probably not going to play, just based on their level of health as we sit here right now are Larry Ogunjobi, Tre Norwood — although he has been practicing in a partial capacity, I would wait until next week on him — and Nate Herbig, who has missed a few days and it’s probably not appropriate to put him in uniform,” Mike Tomlin said on Thursday.
Ogunjobi also missed the team’s first preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Friday after suffered a right foot or ankle injury during practice last week. He has not returned to practice work and was still in a walking boot during on Wednesday.
Ogunjobi battled multiple minor injuries in his first season in Pittsburgh in 2022, but he has been remarkably durable in his NFL career. He hasn’t missed more than one game in a season since he was a rookie back in 2017. Tomlin said there is no long-term concern when it comes. to Ogunjobi’s current injury.
Herbig was injured during the team’s practice session on Sunday and he has yet to return to full action, though he did participate in the walkthrough portions of the team’s practice on Wednesday. Second-year lineman Bill Dunkle has been elevated to the second-team right guard spot in Herbig’s absence.
Norwood suffered a right calf injury on Aug. 6 and has slowly been working his way back to participation in practice. He was in pads for Wednesday’s session but did only individual work. Trenton Thompson has filled in as Minkah Fitzpatrick’s backup at free safety with Norwood out.