Bengals lose Wharton for season

Published 1:24 am Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Jim Walker


CINCINNATI — Things got bad before they really began.

The Cincinnati Bengals’ left guard Travelle Wharton suffered a season-ending knee injury on the opening series of last Saturday’s initial exhibition game against the New York Jets.

Wharton — who injured his right knee — went down while pass blocking on the third play, rolled over in pain and was taken from the field on a cart.

Wharton signed a three-year, $10 million free agent contract last March after spending eight seasons with the Carolina Panthers.

Clint Boling took over at guard for Wharton. He started three games last season and played in only five games.

This marks the third major injury of Wharton’s career. He missed 15 games in 2006 after tearing the ACL and MCL of his left knee, and he sat out the final seven games of the 2010 season with a toe injury.

Other injuries against the Jets included middle linebacker Rey Maualuga and defensive end Carlos Dunlap. All three starters were injured in the opening five minutes of the game.

Maualuga injured hs right knee and was assisted from the feild.

Later in the same series, Dunlap went down with an injury to his right knee and stayed down on the field until trainers attended to him.

Dunlap managed to get to his fee and walked off the field slowly with assistance.

Dunlap recorded nine and one-half quarterback sacks during his rookie year in 2010, but last season he slumped with only four and one-half sacks.

Bengals’ head coach Marvin Lewis —­ who confirmed Wharton’s loss was probably for the entire season ­ — said that top draft pick Dre Kirkpatrick has been improving.

The Bengals’ rookie cornerback injured his left knee before the start of training camp.

“Dre Kirkpatrick is doing very, very well,” said Lewis.

The Bengals will resume pre-season play on Thursday when they visit the Atlanta Falcons in an 8 p.m. game. The game will be televised by Fox Sports.