CHARLOTTE - It didn't take long for wide receiver Kaelin Clay to return to Carolina after departing for Buffalo in a trade prior the regular season.
"When we made the trade and Marty (Hurney) and I talked to him, we said, 'We really liked you, but (Buffalo) offered us somebody we felt we couldn't turn down,'" head coach Ron Rivera said. "We brought him in, and I told him that crazy things happen in this league and you could end up back here."
Sure enough, the opportunity arose Tuesday for the Panthers to bring back Clay after the Bills waived him Monday.
"I'm glad to be back," Clay said. "Rivera said they wanted me back. I'm excited to be back and still have a job and can help a team compete."
The University of Utah product initially made the Panthers' 53-man roster after showcasing his talent in the preseason, when he led the team with 127 receiving yards on six receptions. The speedy receiver's return adds a potential deep threat to Carolina's offense, an element the Panthers have lacked this season.
"Yeah, that's something I've always been able to do since I was young," Clay said when asked if he could give the Panthers a deep threat. "But whatever it is – give Gatorade to Coach - I'm ready to contribute to a team."
Despite spending the past seven weeks in Buffalo, Clay is familiar and comfortable with the Panthers' offense and assimilated quickly in his first practice back. Clay could be active as early as Sunday against the Buccaneers.
"It's a system that I know fairly well," Clay said. "There's still some things I could get better at, but it's still an advantage for me. Like I said, playing fast, playing physical and helping my team win – hopefully we can get that done this week."
View photos of the week of practice leading up to the Panthers' game against the Buccaneers.