2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Panthers hope Wharton helps struggling O-line

By STEVE REED - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-26 17:22

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Travelle Wharton could go from late-summer acquisition to opening day starter for the Carolina Panthers.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Monday last year's starting left guard Amini Silatolu ``more than likely'' will miss the Sept. 8 regular-season opener with a hamstring injury, opening an opportunity for Wharton to step in and start at his old position.

The 32-year-old Wharton, who started 99 games for the Panthers from 2004-11, re-signed with his former team on Sunday after injuries left the offensive line depleted.

``We've had a couple of guys get nicked up and it's important to have a veteran guy around,'' Rivera said. ``We went out and got a guy that knows our system and knows the players. I think that's important.''

Silatolu injured his hamstring in last week's win over the Ravens, while rookie draft pick Edmund Kugbila hasn't been able to stay on the field also because of a hamstring injury.

Earlier in the preseason, Carolina lost backup right tackle Bruce Campbell to a season-ending shoulder injury.

Wharton brings versatility and depth.

The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Wharton can play both guard and tackle positions. He played mostly at left guard during his tenure in Carolina and returned there for Monday's practice.

Wharton said he doesn't care where he plays - he's just happy to be back on the field.

He said he had several offers from other NFL teams, but chose Carolina so he could remain at home with his family.

He still lives in the same Charlotte neighborhood as close fiend Jordan Gross, the team's starting left tackle. For years the two men carpooled to work and they resumed that tradition on Monday.

``It's great, I only have to pay for half of the gas,'' Gross said.

Wharton said he could barely sleep Sunday night in anticipation of getting back on the field.

He was cut by Carolina after the 2011 season because he had a large salary cap number. He signed a free agent contract last spring with the Cincinnati Bengals.

However, he never played a regular season game for the Bengals, tearing the ACL in his right knee in the third play of the preseason. He was placed on injured reserve and the Bengals terminated his contract in July.

Wharton said the terminology of the Panthers offense has changed a little since 2011, but he said it's all coming back to him.

``The guys are helping me out, but there are things I'm remembering,'' Wharton said. ``I'm trying to get it down. I don't want to mess up. You don't want to be that guy to mess it up. I'm going to go back (in the film room) and study some more, go home and study some more and wake up tomorrow and study some more.''

Said Gross: ``Travelle is a guy you can bring in who knows the offense. He was already in and out with the first group today, so that to me was pretty impressive.''

Carolina's offensive line could use some help.

They've been the subject of criticism this preseason given the first-team offense has only scored one touchdown and the injuries haven't helped matters.

But Rivera doesn't think Carolina's offensive line will be its biggest weakness.

``I'm very pleased with them,'' Rivera said. ``We've had opportunities. If we correct those things and make those better we be as explosive as we've been.''

Gross agrees with his coach.

``It's not like I'm flipping out about it,'' Gross said. ``We played the Ravens last week and it had the feel of a real game. It's not like we were playing a high school team. So we've played Baltimore and Philadelphia, which has a good defense. I think that's a pretty good warm-up for Seattle.''

---

Online: AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Steve Reed on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SteveReedAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Mike CampanaroAug 28 09:13a

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro remains in the mix for a spot on the 53-man roster. If the team elects to keep just five receivers, he would be competing [ More ]

D. Heyward-BeyAug 28 09:10a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Darrius Heyward-Bey appears to be in good shape for a roster spot, as the team will likely keep six receivers on the 53-man roster. WRs Antonio [ More ]

Cam NewtonAug 28 12:53a

Updating a previous report, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (ribs) said Wednesday, Aug. 27, that he will be ready for the regular season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers [ More ]

Frankie HammondAug 27 10:42p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Frankie Hammond Jr. is likely to start in place of suspended WR Dwayne Bowe in Week 1.

Derek CarrAug 27 10:40p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr appears firmly entrenched as the primary backup quarterback behind starter QB Matt Schaub (elbow), even though QB Matt McGloin has posted the best numbers of the preseason.

Wes WelkerAug 27 10:31p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) made another positive step Tuesday, Aug. 26, in his recovery from another concussion, according to head coach John Fox. Welker has still not [ More ]

Matt SchaubAug 27 10:23p

Oakland Raiders QB Matt Schaub (elbow) will be the team's starting quarterback in Week 1 against the New York Jets assuming his elbow is better and he can get [ More ]

Timothy WrightAug 27 10:23p

The New England Patriots really like TE Timothy Wright, acquired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for OL Logan Mankins. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport even considers him as the team's 'new' [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIAug 27 09:43p

Washington Redskins QBs Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins aren't involved in any kind of quarterback controversy, according to head coach Jay Gruden. The first-team offense has yet to [ More ]

Nate FreeseAug 27 09:27p

Detroit Lions PK Nate Freese has won the kicker job, because the team has released PK Giorgio Tavecchio.

Kory SheetsAug 27 06:53p

Oakland Raiders FS Larry Asante (undisclosed), WR Greg Jenkins (undisclosed) and RB Kory Sheets (undisclosed) all were placed on the team's Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Aug. 27.

John PotterAug 27 06:43p

The Miami Dolphins placed PK John Potter (hip) on the Reserved/Injured list Thursday, Aug. 27.

Matt JohnsonAug 27 06:33p

The Dallas Cowboys placed TE Jordan Najvar (undisclosed), S Matt Johnson (hamstring), CB Justin Green (undisclosed), LB DeVonte Holloman (neck) and CB Johnny X. Thomas (undisclosed) were all placed [ More ]

L. WestbrooksAug 27 06:23p

The Cincinnati Bengals placed LB J.K. Schaffer (concussion) and CB Lavelle Westbrooks (thumb) on the Reserve/Injured list.

D.C. JeffersonAug 27 06:23p

Carolina Panthers TE D.C. Jefferson (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Wes WelkerAug 27 06:03p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) has been ruled out of the team's final preseason game Thursday, Aug. 27, but has been exercising and will travel with the team.

Tim BenfordAug 27 05:23p

Dallas Cowboys waived WR Tim Benford Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Wes WelkerAug 27 05:13p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) has not been cleared to practice at this point but is making good progress.

Jemea ThomasAug 27 05:03p

The Dallas Cowboys claimed S Jemea Thomas (Patriots) off waivers Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Tandon DossAug 27 05:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Ace Sanders (personal) and WR Tandon Doss (ankle) may be able to play in the final preseason game after missing the first three preseason games. Head [ More ]

Josh ScobeeAug 27 04:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars PK Josh Scobee (quadriceps) said he is not sure if will be able to play Week 1 because of his quadriceps injury. PK Kasey Redfern may make [ More ]

D.J. HaydenAug 27 04:33p

Oakland Raiders CB D.J. Hayden (foot) is considered a few weeks away from returning to practice, according to head coach Dennis Allen. Allen said he expects Hayden will be [ More ]

Richard MarshallAug 27 04:23p

San Diego Chargers CB Richard Marshall has been working at safety because of the injury to SS Jahleel Addae (hamstring). Marshall's versatility could help him make the final roster.

Ryan McBeanAug 27 03:53p

The Arizona Cardinals cut DE Ryan McBean Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Tommy KellyAug 27 03:43p

Arizona Cardinals DT Tommy Kelly agreed to terms on a one-year contract Wednesday, Aug. 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Josh GordonAug 27 03:03p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon's representatives are considering a lawsuit against the NFL which could seek an injunction to put the suspension on hold until the legal process takes [ More ]

Pierre DesirAug 27 02:43p

The Cleveland Browns may consider placing CB Pierre Desir (knee) on the Active/Reserve/Injured list, which would keep him out for at least eight weeks of the season.

Phillip TannerAug 27 01:53p

The Dallas Cowboys will sign free-agent RB Phillip Tanner (Colts), according to sources.

Josh GordonAug 27 01:43p

Updating previous reports, Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be allowed to apply for reinstatement after the 2014 season and not after a full calendar year.

Josh GordonAug 27 01:23p

Updating previous reports, Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will not be allowed at the team's facility during his one-year suspension. The team hoped they would be able to work with him during the suspension.

Zach ErtzAug 27 01:13p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz is expected to be more involved in the passing game this season and has shown the confidence to be a solid pass catcher, according [ More ]

Josh GordonAug 27 01:03p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will not be allowed to file for reinstatement during his one-year suspension, according to a source. His representatives will look [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group