Former Bears All-Pro Tarik Cohen Joins Forces with Old Rival in New Opportunity

Vince Carbonneau
May 30, 2024  (9:57)

Tarik Cohen back with the Bears
Photo credit: Jets X-Factor

Former Chicago Bears All-Pro Tarik Cohen is making a return to the NFL, signing a one-year deal with the New York Jets, the team announced on May 29.

Cohen's promising career was derailed after he tore his ACL while fielding a punt against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3 of the 2020 season. He hasn't played in an NFL game since.
After being released by the Bears in 2022, Cohen joined the Carolina Panthers in 2023 but never took the field due to a hamstring injury. He was ultimately released this spring.
Now, Cohen has a new opportunity with the Jets, who are led by former Bears nemesis Aaron Rodgers.
Jets Coach Robert Saleh Calls Tarik Cohen an 'Explosive Playmaker'
Jets head coach Robert Saleh expressed excitement about Cohen's potential impact on the team. «He's a playmaker,» Saleh said, highlighting how the new kickoff rules influenced the decision to sign Cohen.
The 28-year-old Cohen had his best season in 2018, racking up 1,599 all-purpose yards (725 receiving and 444 rushing) and eight total touchdowns. He led the league in punt return yardage that year with 411 yards, earning a Pro Bowl nod and a first-team All-Pro selection.
«Tarik is an explosive playmaker and he's getting back to health,» Saleh stated via Jets Videos. «With the new kickoff rules, returners will touch the ball over 100 times a year, which is significant. We're excited to have him aboard.»
The new kickoff rules stipulate that only the kicker and returner can move until the ball is touched and returned. Additionally, all kicks landing between the goal line and the 20-yard line must be returned, giving speedy playmakers like Cohen a distinct advantage.
Saleh also noted Cohen's potential as a gadget back, providing Rodgers with a dynamic pass-catching option out of the backfield. «From a defensive standpoint, having to game plan against him when he was with the Bears, he was a nightmare,» Saleh added. «He's a playmaker.»
A Brief Look at Cohen's Injury History
At 5'6" and 181 pounds, Cohen's game has always relied on speed. His recent lower body injuries have been particularly devastating.
Injured just three games into the 2020 season, Cohen spent the entire 2021 season on Chicago's Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list recovering from his torn ACL. In May 2022, after being released by the Bears, he suffered another setback, tearing his Achilles tendon during a live-streamed workout. Last year, a nagging hamstring issue prevented him from playing with the Panthers.
Despite these setbacks, if Cohen can return to the field, even in a limited role, it would be a remarkable comeback and one of the NFL's best stories. Bears fans will undoubtedly be rooting for him.
MAY 30   |   37 ANSWERS
Former Bears All-Pro Tarik Cohen Joins Forces with Old Rival in New Opportunity

Will Tarik Cohen make a successful comeback with the Jets?

Yes2054.1 %
No1745.9 %
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