NFL

Giants RB Henry Hynoski activated off PUP list, hopes to play in Week 1

8/23/13 in NFL   |   IvanRogers   |   1352 respect

The New York Giants had to reorganize in their offensive backfield without a real fullback in training, camp due to the absence of Henry Hynoski – who had been sidelined with a knee injury since the first practice of OTAs. Ever since then, Hynoski had been recovering on the PUP list after undergoing surgery this May to repair to an injured medial collateral ligament and a chip fracture to the lateral plateau in his left knee.
 
But the Giants will no longer have to compromise at the fullback position with the return of Hynoski. The third-year fullback Hynoksi was activated off the Giants’ PUP list on Thursday after he cleared his physical.
 
"It feels good," Hynoski said on Thursday. "I'm very happy to be out here with my teammates and just get out here moving around and doing some things."
 
Now Hynoski is eligible to practice, though he did not get any team reps in Thursday’s session. However, being activated off the PUP is a positive sign since it brings Hynoski a step closer to playing his first game this season. Players who start the season on the PUP list are ineligible to regular season action until Week 6, when they can be finally activated.
 
Last week, Hynoski claimed that he was “making good progress” towards recovering from the offseason knee surgery, and finally getting out there on the practice field to participate in team drills. While Hynoski might have missed most of the preseason, he always held out hoped to return in time for the Giants’ regular season opener on Sep. 8 at Dallas.
 
"I'm hoping for it," Hynoski said, when asked if he will be ready for the Giants’ regular season opener. "That's my goal, but if it takes to Week 2 or 3, that's fine.”
 
"We have a very smart medical staff and trainers,” Hynoski added, “and they're going to put me in the right position when they know I'm physically fit to be out there and performing at the best that I can."
 
The Giants initially did not have full confidence in Hynoski returning for the start of the regular season. Thus, the team signed street free agents Ryan d’Imperio and Ben Guidugli this offseason to add depth to their offensive backfield. They also moved tight end Bear Pascoe to fullback and gave Larry Donnell a few snaps in the backfield during training camp. But a healthy Hynoski, who is a solid blocker and improving threat as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, remains a far better option at the position. Giants head coach Tom Coughlin also acknowledged that Hynoski is an important part of the team’s offense.  
 
"There aren't many (fullbacks) around," Coughlin said. "Even today, when you look around in the league, there are not many guys that are 265 (pounds) and have the skill set that Henry has."
 
Hynoski played in 16 games and started 11 for the Giants last season. Over two seasons with the Giants, Hynoski rushed just 20 yards, but also caught 23 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown in 27 career games.
 
The Giants currently have only two players remaining on the PUP list: defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and defensive tackle Markus Kuhn.
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