Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports
A year ago, Henry Hynoski, the Giants' affable fullback, looked like he was well on his way to becoming one of the top players at his position.
However, the injury bug had other ideas for the 25-year-old Hynocerous.
First, there was the double dipper of a chip fracture of the lateral plateau in his left knee and MCL injury, all of which required surgery and months of rehab.
To his credit, Hynoski attacked his rehab about as aggressively as he attacks opponents, working himself back to the field for opening day.
In retrospect, Hynoski might very well have needed more time to strengthen his knee. When he took the field, he didn't look anywhere close to being the force he was in 2012. Against Dallas in Week 1, he had his worst game in his young NFL career, a performance that earned him a minus-1.5 overall grade by Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
While he looked a little better in Week 2, he still wasn't as explosive out of his stance. Then in Week 3, he played just three snaps before suffering a fractured left shoulder, an injury for which he underwent surgery.
So for those keeping score, that's a broken leg, a knee ligament injury and a broken shoulder—three significant injuries. That probably caused enough concern for Jerry Reese to sign fullback John Conner to a two-year deal instead of a one-year rental like the deals given to the other free agents the team brought in as injuries piled up.
With Conner under contract for 2014—Conner, by the way, finished with a 9.0 overall grade from PFF, the highest grade of any Giants offensive player—the Giants have a decision to make regarding Hynoski, who is due to be a restricted free agent.
As good as Conner was last year, I think the team will offer Hynoski a chance to return and compete for the starting fullback job again.
What will the offer be? I'd be surprised if the Giants tender Hynoski, who again is coming off significant injuries, at the original round tender, not when they have a healthy option in Conner counting for just $740,000 in 2014.
An original round tender doesn't make financial sense, certainly not when there are other more pressing needs where the money needs to be devoted, and certainly not when a player is coming back from multiple injuries.
If Hynoski can overcome what's usually a kiss-of-death injury for a fullback (shoulder) and regain the power and explosion that he showed in 2012, a potential competition with Conner could very well be one of the best in the upcoming training camp.