Entrance Physical: DT Keeanu Benton

Welcome to a new series, the “entrance physicals.” We will evaluate each new player signed by the Steelers with a focus on current health and past injuries. As always, these reports are based on publicly available information, including player interviews, injury reports and reliable news sources. I have no access to the players medical records and have not examined them or discussed this with them unless otherwise noted.

Despite his youth, DT Keeanu Benton already has a reputation as warrior. He is known for playing through pain and toughed out the second half of the 2022 season with a knee injury. A good performance at the Senior Bowl in February 2023 indicated that he was fully recovered two months after the end of the regular season.


Age 21 (7/17/2001)  Height 6′ 4″  Weight 309 lbs  BMI 37.6



Missed the Week 8 game at Illinois. No documented illness or injury. Did not appear on the injury report prior to the game.


Played all 6 regular season games in a COVID-shortened season due to cancelations as well as the bowl game. No documented injury.


Left ankle injury sustained in the third quarter of the Week 9 game versus Iowa. He was rolled up on by an offensive lineman. He remained on the ground in considerable pain for a while and then walked gingerly off the field. He returned for the next series and was able to finish the game. By video, it appears to be consistent with a high ankle sprain. He played all 12 games and a bowl game.


Right knee injury sustained in the second quarter of the Week 6 game at Northwestern.  He missed the second half of the game and returned the following week.  By all accounts he played through the injury, which he described as “someone banged into the side of his knee.” By video, it appears to be consistent with an MCL sprain.


Clean bill of health. Should be ready to participate in rookie minicamp and OTAs.

History of playing through significant injury. He needs to change that pattern to avoid a shortened career from chronic joint issues.

Wore a right arm brace in college. No known history of arm injury, so that was likely for protection.

Level of Fitness: Excellent

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