Fullback Henry Hynoski of the New York Giants is tackled by Joey Porter of the Arizona Cardinals after a reception during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Giants defeated the Cardinals 31-27. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
New York Giants fullback Henry Hynoski has not played since Week 5, when he suffered a severe neck burner after a collision with 250-pound linebacker Aaron Curry of the Seattle Seahawks. The hit has cost the rookie from Pitt a couple of weeks of action, but when he talks about the play you can hear how much Hynoski still relishes it.
"Aaron Curry and I hit straight downhill full speed, It was like we both hit a stone wall," Hynoski said. "I delivered a pretty good shot on him. Next day my shoulder pads were actually broken, I had to get them fixed."
Hynoski said the hit on Curry might not have been the best block he delivered in the five games has played thus far in the NFL, but said "When your shoulder pads get damaged you know you're doing something right, so I was proud of this one."
I had an opportunity to talk via phone with the rookie fullback during the Giants' off day on Tuesday -- a day Hynoski was using to do a little early (or maybe not so early) Christmas shopping with his mom.
Hynoski is hoping to return to practice this week, saying he thinks he is "very close" to returning to action. "I think things look pretty positive," he said.
When I talked to the 6-foot-2, 260-pound Hynoski during training camp, he said he was "here to be a battering ram." With that in mind, Tuesday I asked the 22-year-old to assess his play prior to being injured.
"I feel very good about the way I've been playing. I give 110 percent every play. Obviously this is the NFL, you're going to win some and you lose some battles, but as long as you win the great majority -- which I feel that I have -- you're doing pretty well," Hynoski said. "I'm definitely doing some good things, but there's things I need to work on also. In my eyes you can never be a good enough player. There's always something you can improve on. Eventually I want to get to be the best at my position."
I asked Hynoski about the "hit-and-miss" nature of the Giants' disappointing running game so far this season.
"Eleven people have to function as one for it to be a success. If one guy messes up the play is completely blown," Hynoski said. "There's been instances like that -- one missed block here and there, one bad angle, one bad read, something along those lines. When the run game does succeed it's when the 11 people are there working as a complete unit."
Hynoski has three pass receptions five games, but has yet to carry the ball. That is something Giants' fullbacks rarely do, and he knows it.
"I really feel I can help the team in that way, but it's something that doesn't matter to me," Hynoski said. "I just want to go out and do my part and help the team win no matter what I have to do."
Let's hope he is back on the field soon trying to do just that.