TAMPA, JAN. 24 -- Troy Kyles's road to the Super Bowl has featured more detours than the Whitehurst Freeway, but when the New York Giants take on the Buffalo Bills Sunday, the Howard University graduate fully expects to be part of the action.

Granted, he'll probably only see limited duty on punt and kickoff coverage, but the Giants' rookie wide receiver is hardly complaining, not after a season that began with the cruelest cut of all -- being placed on waivers six days before the opener.

Kyles, who had a 3.1 grade-point average and a degree in radiologic technology, went home to Detroit and had just accepted a job as an X-ray technician in a local hospital when the Giants called him back to the team after the third game. He spent a few weeks on the practice squad, then was activated at midseason and has been on the roster ever since.

Kyles was recruited to play quarterback by former Howard coach Willie Jeffries and spent a redshirt season and two more years at the position before asking for a chance to play wide receiver.

As a senior, he caught only 10 passes, but when scouts came around to time Howard's athletes, their eyes flashed when they saw Kyles was consistently running 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Four different teams wanted to sign him as a free agent, including the Redskins, but Kyles said the Giants seemed to need the most help at wide receiver, and his coach, Steve Wilson, recommended he go there.

When he arrived at a mini-camp for rookies and free agents, there were 17 receivers there. Only three were asked back to training camp, and Kyles survived all summer, only to be cut just before the start of the regular season.

"Coach {Bill} Parcells told me to stay in shape and to be ready," he said. "I went back home, got a job and enrolled in graduate school at Wayne State. I got a call from New Orleans and the Redskins that week, but when the Giants called, there was no choice. That's where I wanted to go."

He caught four passes this season for 77 yards, plays on special teams and is occasionally used when the Giants go to their four-man and three-man receiver packages. And he's in the Super Bowl.

"I'm just having a great time right now," Kyles said. "I'm a rookie, and I made it to the Super Bowl my first year in the league. How can you beat that?"