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August 30, 2011 - Mike McLain
BEREA -- Eric Steinbach's 2011 season didn't last long.
Steinbach underwent back surgery to repair a damged disk Tuesday. Coach Pat Shurmur officially announced that Steinbach was placed on injured reserve.
That means that rookie Jason Pinkston will start at left guard. It's possible that Boardman product John Greco could win the job, but Shurmur is comfortable using Greco as a backup. Another possibility is a trade or signing one of the many players that will clear waivers when final roster cuts are made Saturday.
"I wouldn't assume anything," Shurmur said when asked if Pinkston will start, "but if we had a game tomorrow he'd be starting."
Depth on the interior of the line took an unexpected hit when Billy Yates abruptly retired early in training camp. Yates was being counted on as a swing player at center and both guard spots. He played in nine games last season and started three games at right guard when Floyd Womack was hurt.
If Yates hadn't retired, he probably would have replaced Steinbach.
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