A day after Lorenzo Bromell was activated from the PUP list, the Giants turned to another veteran to try to stem the tide from Strahan's loss.
The Giants filled their remaining roster spot by signing defensive end Chuck Wiley, who played for the Minnesota Vikings against the Giants on Halloween and was released two days later. Wiley, a seven-year veteran from LSU, joins a revamped corps of defensive ends that includes Osi Umenyiora, Lance Legree and Bromell. Rookie Reggie Torbor, listed as a linebacker on the roster, will continue to play end in some sub packages.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin declined to stay who will start this week’s game against the Cardinals in Arizona. But Umenyiora has split time with Washington throughout the season and took his place against the Bears. Legree stepped in for Strahan. Bromell, another seven-year veteran, has not played this season. He was activated Tuesday off the physically unable to perform list, where he had been since July 30 because he was recovering from June knee surgery.
“Osi definitely will be a guy that will be in the mix, just like he always has been,” Coughlin said. “Whether he takes the first snap or whatever, he is going to be involved in all that we do. We use him in multiple ways. Part of what I would like to do is to see if we can’t stabilize the positions first, and then make those decisions. Practice will be important for us.”
Wiley will also get a serious look. He is a 6-5, 275-pounder whom Coughlin said is similar to Washington.
“He is a guy that can play either end and has played either end and has played it on first and second downs,” Coughlin said. “He has been effective in the run. He is a big kid; he showed good athleticism and movement in his workout. He started two games this year (for Minnesota). We would like to think that he can make a contribution here.”
Wiley joined the NFL as a third-round draft choice of the Carolina Panthers in 1998, the 62nd overall pick. He missed his rookie season after tearing his Achilles' tendon. He played one year for the Panthers, two for Atlanta (where he had a career-high four sacks in 2000) and 2½ with the Vikings. Wiley has played in 76 games, with 23 starts. He has six career sacks.
This season, Wiley started the Vikings’ first two games when Kenny Mixon was suspended. He was inactive for two games, then played in three games before being released. His final game with Minnesota was against the Giants, and the Vikings coaches credited him with four assisted tackles. For the season he had nine tackles, eight of them assists.
“It was tough,” Wiley said of his last few weeks in Minnesota. “At one time I was starting and then they drafted a first round pick and I got demoted, then I come back and am starting again and being in the rotation and then pulled out. It’s one of those things that you have no control of, and all I can do is just make the best of my situation and just keep playing and that’s what I did. My last game was when I played against the Giants and I played the best that I could, but like I said, the team has to make decisions dealing with injury problems and everything.”
Now Wiley is facing the same circumstance as the rest of the defensive linemen, trying to take advantage of an opportunity while filling the void left by Strahan, the NFL’s finest defensive end.
“The only thing I can do is be myself,” Wiley said. “I can’t be Michael Strahan. I mean, he has done a lot over the years and played on a consistent level at all times. All I can do is just come in here and do my job, do what I’m told to do, play some good football, help the team win and keep it going from there