(Berea) - Browns offensive guard Eric Steinbach is undergoing back surgery.
Steinbach is having a “disk issue'” fixed in his back, Cleveland Coach Pat Shurmur said after Tuesday’s practice.
The Browns will wait until after the operation and an update from their doctors before deciding whether to put Steinbach on injured reserve. If they make that move, Steinbach will be lost for the season.
Steinbach left practice two weeks ago when his back stiffened up. He had been getting treatments before opting to have surgery.
The 31-year-old hasn't missed a snap in two years, playing between Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas and Pro Bowl center Alex Mack. Steinbach's quickness allows the Browns to use him on sweeps, and his blocks helped Peyton Hillis rush for nearly 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.
Steinbach has been with the Browns for four seasons. He signed with Cleveland in 2007 after spending four seasons in Cincinnati.
With Steinbach out, rookie guard Jason Pinkston, a fifth-round pick from Pittsburgh, has been working with the first-team offense.
The Browns have also been awarded offensive lineman Oniel Cousins off waivers from Baltimore, a move made for protection if they have to put left guard Eric Steinbach on injured reserve.
Cousins was drafted by the Ravens in 2008. He made four starts and appeared in 25 games.
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