Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman Travelle Wharton suffered an ACL tear in his right knee nearly 11 months ago, but may begin training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list as he continues to rehabilitate the injury, according to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Wharton, 32, was thought to be the missing piece along the Bengals offensive line when the team signed him in free agency during the 2012 offseason. After eight seasons with the Carolina Panthers, Wharton was penciled in as the starting left guard, but the knee injury ended his season during the first preseason game and instead left second-year guard Clint Boling in his place in the lineup.
In Wharton's absence, the Bengals offensive line played well, and Boling put together a strong season in his first year as a full-time starter. During a contract dispute between the Bengals and offensive tackle Andre Smith, there was talk that Wharton could make a shift to right tackle, but Smith has since signed a new contract with the team.
Wharton is due to count as $3.375 million against the Bengals salary cap in 2013 and again in 2014, making him a candidate to be released if he's unable to earn a starting spot on the offensive line.