It began on May 22, when he sustained an injury to his medial collateral ligament and a chip fracture to the lateral plateau in the Giants’ first organized team activity. Hynoski underwent surgery two days later and began rehabbing almost from the moment he woke up. His diligence paid off when he was activated off the reserve/physically unable to perform list on Aug. 22 and played on opening night in Dallas.
Hynoski started the next two games (vs. Denver on Sept. 15 and at Carolina the following week). He caught a five-yard pass vs. the Panthers, but suffered a shoulder injury in the first quarter that forced him to go on season-ending injured reserve on Sept. 25 and endure another surgery.
“The first game I was really rusty, the second I started getting back and that third game was when I started feeling good again, back to my old self,” Hynoski said. “And then the shoulder happened, unfortunately. But that’s part of the game. It’s the stuff you have to live with. These things happen, it’s just a matter of how you respond to it. I use it as motivation, use it in my workouts, everything, all of that anger and frustration – I used it in rehab and training to get back. I think it’s going to make me a better player because of it.
“It was tough to sit back and watch your team, especially when you know you could help in certain areas. I’m just looking forward. That whole time I was going through all of this, it was just motivation, it just fueled the fire and made me more hungry. I think it’s all going to transfer over to this season and we’ll have a great year ahead of us.”
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First, he must compete for his job. In his absence, the Giants signed John Conner, another outstanding blocker who started seven of the 13 games in which he played. Conner is entering his fifth NFL season.
“There’s competition all over the NFL,” Hynoski said. “That brings the best out of all of the players. It brings the best out of you when you’re competing against somebody else. I’m just looking forward to working with him and working together and getting better at the same time.”
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In the 2011 postseason, he had five catches for 39 yards (7.8-yard avg.) with a long catch of 13 yards.
Hynoski’s five rushing attempts in 2012 made him the first Giants fullback with more than one carry in a season since Jim Finn in 2006 (two attempts for 14 yards). He scored his only career touchdown on a five-yard pass from Eli Manning on Dec. 30, 2012 vs. Philadelphia.
Hynoski entered the offseason as a restricted free agent. When he didn’t receive a tender offer, he had full freedom. Hynoski did visit the Detroit Lions this week, but his heart never left New Jersey.
“This is where I want to be,” Hynoski said. “Don’t get me wrong, Detroit was a great place. I really enjoyed the people I met and the visit out there, but this is home for me. This is where I was comfortable and luckily everything worked out. The Giants had a mutual feeling, the same feeling I had about them. They wanted me back, I wanted to be back here and I’m glad it worked out.
“This is a very special place for me, just the way the fans embraced me. I’m very grateful the coaches, the front office all the way from the ownership down have been 100 percent class, one of the best organizations in the NFL, the best organization in the NFL. I’m just very honored and proud to be part of it again.”
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