NFL season loses oomph
On Wednesday, the air was taken out of the NFL season for many area fans when it was officially announced by the New York Giants that they had placed Henry Hynoski on injured reserve.
Hynoski was injured early on in the Giants' game last weekend against Carolina when former teammate Chase Blackburn tackled the fullback following Hynoski's first catch of the season.
It's a tough blow for Hynoski, who worked so hard to get back for the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, after missing all of training camp with an injured medial collateral ligament and chip fracture in the lateral plateau of his left knee.
But if there's anything we know about Hynoski, besides his dancing skill, is that he's a determined healer.
A hamstring injury prevented Hynoski from participating fully in the combine and pre-draft workouts in the spring of 2011, but Hynoski worked hard, signed a free-agent contract that summer and became the starting fullback for the Giants.
Then, he returned from a neck injury that year and helped New York to its fourth Super Bowl championship.
Last year, by most accounts Hynoski was injury-free and had his best year. It was clear the Southern Columbia grad was going to be a fixture in the Giants' backfield for years to come.
Then came the bad-luck knee injury on the first day of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) in May. But Hynoski vowed to be back for the season opener and he was.
However, this shoulder fracture may be the most serious setback yet of his career.
Injured reserve means Hynoski's season is over. No more blocks, no more catches, no more Hynocerous dances.
But it doesn't mean the end of his career. While it is uncommon, a shoulder fracture doesn't spell retirement. In the past year alone, several players have had similar injuries and returned, including Chicago Bears' running back Michael Bush, who played most of last year with a fracture in his shoulder, and Minnesota Vikings' defensive lineman Pat Williams.
The fact that the Giants placed Hynoski, who is in the last year of his original three-year contract, on injured reserve, guarantees they hold onto his rights and get the benefit of being the first to be able to negotiate with him in the offseason, if they don't re-sign him sooner. If they had no such plans, they could have offered him an injury settlement and cut him.
Also by placing him on injured reserve, it guarantees Hynoski doesn't rush back to help the team and expose himself to further injury.
So while we have to wait until next year to see Hynoski, it appears he's in the right frame of mind for another remarkable return.
"God has a plan for everyone...the cream always rises to the top when it comes to hard work as desire...i will be back strong! Cant wait!" Hynoski tweeted Wednesday.
District 4 playoff standings
Meanwhile, closer to home, the first installment of the District 4 playoff points was made available.
Surprisingly, Southern Columbia, which has dominated everyone on its schedule, but has played just three Class A teams and a lone Class AA team so far, is in second place behind Wellsboro in Class A.
The Green Hornets have a 30-point lead on Southern for home-field advantage in the playoffs, but with six weeks of the regular season left to be played and two AAA and two AA teams left on the schedule, let's not worry too much for the Tigers.
In Class AA, Mount Carmel with an even 2-2 record and 260 points would be seventh in an eight-team field, and Shamokin is tied with Columbia-Montour Vo Tech for sixth in Class AAA.