When the call came from the Giants on Thursday afternoon, Michael Clayton and his wife were in Tampa surveying a lot where they planned to build a family home and get on with their post-NFL lives. After spending the last half of last season with the Giants and then being cut in training camp, Clayton figured he could see the end of the line even if he hadn't quite reached it.
But amid the calls for the Giants to shore up their depleted wide receiver corps by going after a big-name veteran such as Randy Moss or T. J. Houshmanzadeh, coach Tom Coughlin went for a trusted professional who already knows the system and can play special teams, too.
"You never know what's going to happen," said Clayton, who earned Coughlin's praise at the time he was cut for doing everything the Giants asked of him. "I'm thankful for the opportunity and just glad to be back. You never know how long it's going to last. They have their guys. I did some good things last year. I'm not sure what it's going to amount to. My biggest thing is doing what I can do day by day to help this team win a title."
Although he got only a few reps in practice on Friday, Clayton said he's in shape and ready to play Sunday in Philadelphia if needed. "I worked every day," Clayton said. "If I was out six weeks, it may be different. But I stayed active and anticipated a call in the first four weeks. I watched NFL Network. I had a great feeling I had a good chance of being back. I followed the [injury] reports and had good motivation to stay in shape."