Bengals Banter: Paper Tigers. Travelle Wharton Might Start on PUP

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Aug 10, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tackle Travelle Wharton (70) is carted off the field with an injury in the first quarter against the New York Jets at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals Beat Writer Joe Reedy said last night that offensive lineman Travelle Wharton could start training camp on the PUP list, as he continues to recover from a torn ACL he suffered in the team’s first preseason game nearly a year ago. This would be a good scenario for both Wharton and the Bengals, as it would allow him to properly rehab  and not take the field until the injury is 100% healed, while also keeping an emergency lineman of sorts on the roster.

By the time he’s eligible to return the Bengals will have likely lost at least one offensive lineman to a serious injury, and Wharton could come in and pick up the slack for whoever it is, as the 10-year veteran can play both guard spots, as well as right tackle. That’s not to say the team won’t cut him if they think he’s worth paying this season.

In case you missed it, the Bengals agreed to a deal this offseason with free agent guard/center Mike Pollack, who spent most of the 2012 season on injured reserve with the Carolina Panthers. Pollack was actually a good starter in his time with the Indianapolis Colts. In his last two seasons there he finished with a +3.3 (2011) and a +2.9 (2010). Typically, a +3.0 grade means you’re around a top-30 guard.

This could signal the release of Wharton, who faces a stiff challenge coming off of a torn ACL at age 31, all while making $2.68 million in 2013.

If Pollack can adequately play both guard and center, it could make Wharton expendable, and Mike Brown will always jump on a chance to save money.

 

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