As reported earlier, left guard Eric Steinbach was placed on the IR after undergoing surgery to repair a disc problem in his back.
That got me thinking. Steinbach will be 32 before he plays again in the NFL, not to mention he will be coming off some serious back surgery to boot. Before we go further, let me just lay to rest any notion that I want Steinbach out, as that couldn’t be further from the truth. The guy is a pro at what he does, and has no doubt provided both Joe Thomas and Alex Mack with a wealth of knowledge. I also have read that Steinbach has been coaching Jason Pinkston, his possible replacement.
The point here is, what can we expect from Steinbach next season? Anything? To be honest I don’t have those answers, because I’m not a doctor. But if I had to guess, a back injury like this, at this point in Steinbach’s career, may force him to consider retiring – and I can’t blame the guy for that. However, let’s hope that Joe Thomas was correct when he said:
"“He’s never, ever talked about retiring. I’d imagine he’s going to come back from this as strong as ever and continue his career.”"
As we said before, the cast now vying for the starting left guard spot includes Pinkston and John Greco. Pinkston is still learning how to play guard after spending his college days playing at tackle. Greco, on the other hand, joined this Browns this off-season after spending the past three seasons in St. Louis. Greco played in 26 games the past three seasons, while starting in four of those contests.
Recent addition Oniel Cousins will apparently not be a candidate to fill the vacant spot. Cousins practiced at right tackle today, his natural position, and will likely see time there Thursday in Chicago.
In the end though,we just want to wish Steinbach a safe and speedy recovery. Can’t wait to see him back with the team next season!