COMMENTARY | If you thought things couldn't get any worse for the 0-3 New York Giants, guess again.
Fullback Henry Hynoski--who battled back from an offseason MCL operation to play in all three games for the Giants this season--was placed on season-ending IR with a fractured shoulder that was suffered in Week 3 vs. the Carolina Panthers, according to Michael Eisen of Giants.com.
To fill the void at fullback, New York signed former New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals FB John Conner, who has played in 37 games during his four-year career. You may remember seeing Conner on HBO's Hard Knocks when the Jets were a part of the show, donning the nickname "The Terminator" for his hard blocks on opposing defenders.
Conner should be able to step in and help protect Eli Manning and clear the way for David Wilson and Da'Rel Scott, but the loss of Hynoski has gone underrated. The 24-year-old Hynoski has played alongside Manning the previous two seasons and has done an excellent job at keeping him safe. Hynoski knows Manning's movements in the pocket and the time he needs to get a pass off, which is only part of the reason why he's so important to Big Blue.
Although the Giants have struggled to run the ball this season and even last year, I wouldn't put those issues on Hynoski, who has proven to be an effective run-blocker in Kevin Gilbride's scheme. It's been the offensive line that has prevented the Giants' offense from really ramping up, which brings us to another injury issue.
According to ESPN's Dan Graziano, David Baas and Chris Snee both missed practice on Wednesday and their statuses are up in the air for Week 4's matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. This will require the Giants to do some shifting along the line, which Graziano notes could include David Diehl at guard and rookie Justin Pugh at right tackle.
Diehl has yet to play this season and only practiced for the first time on Wednesday since having surgery on his thumb five months ago. Diehl has certainly had his ups and downs with New York, but he could provide a much needed spark to the O-line this Sunday in KC.
New York ranks dead last in rushing offense in the NFL, averaging 44.3 yards per game and sporting two lost fumbles on the season. Elsewhere, Eli Manning is tied for being the second-most sacked quarterback in the league, alongside the Philadelphia Eagles' Michael Vick and the Cleveland Browns' Brandon Weeden.
With a different offensive line combination and a fullback unfamiliar with the Giants' offense, the G-Men could be in for a whirl of trouble against the Chiefs in Week 4, who lead the NFL with 15 sacks.
While Conner is certainly a suitable replacement at fullback, he's not Henry Hynoski, and the Giants' offense will continue to sputter unless the offensive line steps up and buys Eli Manning some time to get the ball down field, which will open up holes in the running game.
Pete Schauer is a native of the Jersey Shore where he covers the New York Giants, Brooklyn Nets and New York Yankees as a Yahoo Sports contributor. You can follow him on Twitter @Pete_Schauer and find him on Google+.
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