In a league where fewer and fewer teams are utilizing true fullbacks John Conner, signed Wednesday by the New York Giants when Henry Hynoski was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a fractured shoulder, is just glad to have another opportunity to continue his NFL career.
"I’m just happy to get another opportunity to play," said the 25-year-old Conner. "It’s hard for fullbacks to find jobs now because it’s become a pass-happy league."
Conner was the New York Jets fullback for two seasons before being released after playing in only three games a season ago. MCL and hamstring injuries led to the release. Conner also played two games for the Cincinnati Bengals last season. Conner thought he had played well enough to make the Bengals roster this fall and said it was "definitely a surprise" when he was cut at the end of the preseason.
The Giants are one of the traditional NFL teams that relies on the fullback to lead block.
"We need a fullback, we need a leading blocker. He is a physical guy, we think he'll go up in the hole and clear the hole for the running back," head coach Tom Coughlin said Wednesday.
Conner understands what he will be asked to do.
"That’s my job, to come in and open up some holes and help this run game out," he said. "I’m definitely going to give it my best game to help this run game out. That’s what they brought me in for so I’m going to do that to the best of my ability."
Conner hopes to master enough of the playbook to help the Giants when they face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
"Things are kind of clogged right now but I figure after a couple days I’ll be good," he said.
Clogged is a good word. Giants' running backs have pretty much found the lanes clogged everywhere they have tried to go during the first three games. Perhaps Conner can help change that.