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No Health Updates on Tarik Cohen or Teven Jenkins, Which is a Real Bummer

Chicago Bears

Whether your team is 3-3 (like the Bears) or 5-1 (like their opponents this Sunday, the Bucs), the six-week mark is an important one on the NFL calendar. That’s because players on the physically unable to perform list to start season are eligible to return to their respective teams now. And for Chicago’s squad, this means running back Tarik Cohen is eligible to come off the PUP list this week.

Cohen went down with an ACL injury in Week 3 of the 2020 season, but is still on the mend 13 months later. And, unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like his return is imminent:

Even though Cohen has a since re-joined the team and been visible during training camp and on the sidelines, he still finds himself in the recovery phase. Working alongside his teammates to get himself back into playing shape is a silver lining of sorts.

But Matt Nagy’s vague references about Cohen working hard says just about everything we need to know at this time. As does the Bears’ recent stream of running back tryout invitations, while David Montgomery and Damien Williams are also both out of action.

It just feels as if Cohen won’t be back for a while. And that just plain STINKS. Cohen was a multi-positional threat who could be the type of game-changer this offense needs in order to thrive. Adding a 2018 All-Pro punt returner would help win the field position battle, as well. And bringing in a running back who could gain chunk plays as a rusher or receiver would certainly help Justin Fields’ development. Instead, all parties continue to play the waiting game.

As for an update on offensive lineman Teven Jenkins, it’s more of the same — which isn’t inspiring news:

It’s been nine weeks since Jenkins had successful surgery on the back issues that put him on IR to start the year, though there has still been no official confirmation of what type of back injury it was. GM Ryan Pace called it a “common surgery” that cleared up the rookie’s back issues, but that’s pretty much all we got (I’m not saying a diagnosis would shorten up the timeline, but it would be nice to know what exactly we’re dealing with and use some historical comps for reference). Alas.

Although there was once hope he could make it back this year, there is no timeline for Jenkins’ return, and Nagy’s “no change with him” non-update doesn’t inspire much optimism.

The possibility of Jenkins missing the entire year cuts in multiple ways. On the one hand, losing a year of development would sting for the rookie. As we’re learning with Justin Fields, there is no substitute for on-the-job learning. But on the other hand, giving Jenkins a full year to rest and recover wouldn’t be the worst thing. After all, Jenkins’ long-term health for future seasons is as important (if not more) as getting on the field for a handful of games this season. Again, in-game development can’t be matched or simulated. But doing it while not at 100 percent would be ill-advised for a player with as much promise and potential Jenkins possesses.

In the end, this feels like a week-to-week situation with two key cogs who are out of action. Because while both Cohen and Jenkins could conceivably start making their way back off the injury report, that neither sounds like they’re in a position to do so feels telling.



Author: Luis Medina

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