Steinbach underwent back surgery on Tuesday to repair a "disk issue." Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur said the surgery went well, but that the team will place Steinbach on injured reserve, ending his season.
Steinbach left practice two weeks ago when his back stiffened up. He was receiving treatments before opting to have surgery.
With Steinbach out, rookie Jason Pinkston is the most likely candidate to take over at guard, but Shurmur said the team will explore other possibilities.
Steinbach has been with the Browns for four seasons. He signed with Cleveland in 2007 after spending four seasons in Cincinnati.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.