The Giants signed veteran receiver Michael Clayton, a former Bucs first-round pick and currently in the UFL with the Omaha Nighthawks Tuesday.
One can safely assume that Clayton will move right into the No. 3 receiver spot formerly occupied by Derek Hagan, who just signed last week to replace the injured Steve Smith. Clayton will replace big-play receiver Hakeem Nicks, who will sit out at least the next three weeks after surgeons cut his muscle lining, called the fascia, to relieve pressure on blood vessels and nerves caused by "compartment syndrome" in his lower right leg.
Clayton had 16 catches for 230 yards in 11 games for the Bucs last season. They cut him in September, six seasons after they made him their first-round pick in 2004. He did well as a rookie, making 80 catches for 1,193 yards and seven touchdowns, but never came close to those numbers in succeeding years.
Tom Coughlin will have all to do with piecing together that group as the schedule grows tough and the games ever more important.
"Well, they're men and they're going to have to handle this just like all of us," Coughlin said Monday. "Everybody in this league experiences injuries and how you deal with them is as important as anything else.
"We'll have to do some things offensively to pull all of this under control, to be aware of what we have and what we don't have and hopefully the burden will go on...let's do a better job up front. We didn't run the ball well (Sunday). We didn't create a whole lot of openings. We had one or two runs that were significant, but a lot of them were not and hopefully everybody is going to accept the challenge."
The Giants signed Clayton after waiving TE Jake Ballard to create a roster spot. Ballard could return to the practice squad tomorrow, as practice squad DB Brandon Hughes was signed to the Eagles' 53-man roster.