Hate to keep focusing on the OL, but this is both the most interesting
spot on the team right now, and the likely weakness of the weaker side
of the ball.
Chris Scott, the oversized camp pickup that was the exchange player
when starting RG Geoff Hangartner was cut, is apparently working with
the first team at left guard, but it's not likely to be long.
Scott, who's never started a real NFL game, stands in front of Travelle
Wharton, who really just needs to show he's in game shape on the field
to get the start. Installed back at LG on his first day at practice,
returning to his original number of 70, Wharton will start the first
game at LG unless something goes wrong.
Wharton obviously passed physicals, but he had done so with the Bengals
as well before being cut. I don't think the injury was a concern of
Cincinnati's, salary was. With that resolved in Carolina, there's no
concern in plugging him back in.
Incumbent LG Amini Silatolu has apparently been ruled out already for
the opener in Seattle, so he'll likely be supplanted at LG for the year.
So will Silatolu become the depth at LT and LG? Will he move to RG
where he could probably beat out Garry Williams? Who knows.
I do believe it's vital that Silatolu makes the field when he's
healthy. I can't stand swapping sides for linemen, but he needs to be
So, for the moment, the duo of Gross and Wharton gets back on the left
side. The hard part will be that this time next year, chances are both
will be gone. I can only hope that it will come on the greater good -
that they'll work toward actually doing something on the OL, and that a
better version of Silatolu and Ed Kugbila will be a part of things. But
the only constant for next year is Ryan Kalil.