Ryan Pace's Answers About Tarik Cohen's Status Further Muddy an Already Confusing Situation

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Ryan Pace’s Answers About Tarik Cohen’s Status Further Muddy an Already Confusing Situation

Chicago Bears

Tarik Cohen is a key cog in the Chicago Bears offense.

So much so, GM Ryan Pace gave Cohen a contract extension early in the 2020 season. And while Cohen’s season-ending ACL injury threw a wrench in plans, his absence underscored how important he is to Matt Nagy’s offense. But more than that, it has us anxious about when Cohen’s return will come.

Unfortunately, when given a chance to bring clarity to the situation, Pace failed to do so:

So … a couple of things here.

Firstly, Cohen isn’t “day by day” as Pace says. It isn’t even close to “day by day.” Cohen is on the PUP/Reserve list, which means he is out of the lineup for at least the first six weeks of the season. The Bears could open up a 21-day period in which they have to decide to activate Cohen once he clears the obvious health-related hurdles. But it doesn’t bode well for a speedy return knowing that Cohen didn’t participate in OTAs, training camp, or the preseason after a season-ending ACL injury in Week 3 last year. There is clearly work to do and a recovery period for the running back to go through. And, ultimately, we’re talking about a return that is more than seven weeks away from now. That’s hardly “day by day” by anyone’s standards.

Secondly, Pace’s “day by day” remark goes counter to what Head Coach Matt Nagy said when discussing Cohen’s status recently. That the general manager is talking about Cohen’s climb as a “day by day” thing when the head coach is just days removed from talking about it as something that doesn’t have a timetable is a rough look. The least the two most important football people can do when pretending to be transparent is be on the same page.

Which brings me to the final nugget. I understand that Pace doesn’t want to get into specifics regarding a player’s surgical procedures. And I get wanting to protect the player in this way. HOWEVER, the answer he gives to a yes-or-no question doesn’t make the situation any better. Further muddying Cohen’s status does him no favors. It brings me back to how poorly the Bulls initially handled Derrick Rose’s return, leaving so much open for interpretation. Repeating that history would be a mistake.

Here’s hoping Cohen continues to work on that road to recovery. Ideally, next time one of the Bears’ big bosses speaks about Cohen, they’ll do a better by him. Because whatever this is … it ain’t it.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.