Former Carolina Panthers stalwart gets a 2013 redo on cracking Bengals lineup ... Was first on depth chart at LG entering 2012 training camp, but was lost for the season after suffering a knee injury on the third play of the first preseason game ... A ’12 free agent signing by Cincinnati, he started all 99 of his games during eight seasons with Carolina, 58 at LG and 41 at LT ... Started all 16 games in 2011, 15 at LG and one at LT ... Every-game starter on 2005 Carolina club that reached NFC Championship game ... A third-round Carolina draft selection in 2004.
CAREER TRANSACTIONS: Selected by Carolina in third round of 2004 NFL Draft (94th overall) ... Signed with Panthers on 5-26-04 ... Signed contract extension with Carolina on 2-14-08 ... Released by Carolina on 3-14-12 ... Signed as free agent by Bengals on 3-17-12.
2012 HIGHLIGHTS: Placed Aug. 24 on Reserve/Injured list after suffering knee injury on team’s third offensive play of preseason opener, Aug. 10 vs. N.Y. Jets.
OWNING A PIECE OF HISTORY: In 2009 for Carolina, Wharton started every game at LT and helped Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams become the only teammates in NFL history to both top 1100 yards rushing in a season (Stewart 1133, Williams 1117). The team set a franchise season rushing mark at 156.1 yards per game. The versatile Wharton was originally slated to play LG in ’09, but he was switched to LT as a replacement for injured Jordan Gross.
PREVIOUS YEARS: 2004—Inactive for his first five games as a rookie, but started final 11 contests at LG, following an injury to veteran Tutan Reyes ... Supported five 100-yard rushing games by Nick Goings.
2005—Started at LT for Carolina team that earned Wild Card playoff berth with 11-5 record and logged postseason wins at N.Y. Giants and Chicago ... Helped Panthers rush for 229 yards in season finale at Atlanta and for 223 yards in 23-0 Wild Card playoff win at Giants, marking first time in Carolina history for consecutive rush totals of 200-plus ... In key spot at LT as Panthers allowed just 28 sacks, second-fewest in franchise history.
2006—Suffered left knee injury (torn ACL and MCL) in season opener Sept. 10 vs. Atlanta, and spent remainder of season on Reserve/Injured list.
2007—Returned from knee injury to start all 16 games at LT ... Contributed to rushing output of 114.0 yards per game, second-most at the time in franchise history.
2008—Started 14 games at LG for Panthers team that won NFC South with 12-4 record ... Contributed to franchise-record rushing total (152.3 yards per game, since surpassed) and aided pass protection that allowed franchise-low sack total (20) ... Helped RBs Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams rush for a combined eight 100-yard games in second half of season ... Contributed to team-record 299-yard rushing total (8.1 per carry) Dec. 8 vs. Tampa Bay.
2009—(Details from this season in previous item).
2010—Moved back to LG and started the first nine games, but suffered toe injury in Game 9, Nov. 14 vs. Tampa Bay ... Inactive due to the injury for Games 10-13, and placed Dec. 14 on Reserve/Injured list.
2011 - His 16 starts for Panthers included 15 at LG and one at LT, as he helped rookie QB Cam Newton compile 4051 passing yards with 21 TDs and 706 rushing yards with 14 TDs ... Contributed to team’s 407 yards net offense in win Oct. 23 vs. Washington ... Helped clear path for 35-for-201 team rushing performance (5.7) in win Nov. 27 at Indianapolis ... Helped Panthers rush 31-for-270 (8.7) with three TDs in 48-16 win on Dec. 24 vs. Tampa Bay.
COLLEGE: Played four seasons (2000-03) at South Carolina, starting 45 of his 47 games played at LT ... Credited by coaches with no sacks allowed after the second game of his freshman season, span of 45 games ... As a senior, he was lone returning starter for a line that allowed only 10 sacks, and he earned second-team All-SEC recognition and a berth in Senior Bowl.PERSONAL: Hometown is Fountain Inn, S.C. ... Attended Hillcrest High School in Simpsonville, S.C. ... Majored in retail management at South Carolina.