There are few players I’ve found as entertaining to watch as Tarik Cohen. A fourth-round pick by the Chicago Bears in 2017, Cohen was a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands. And he did it in a variety of ways.
We saw Cohen shine running the ball, catching it, returning it, and even throwing it. Unfortunately, an awful ACL injury in 2020 knocked him out for most of that season and has kept Cohen off the field ever since. And suffering an apparent injury while working out in 2022 seemingly derailed his comeback odds.
But perhaps that setback will ultimately be the origin story for a monumental comeback. ESPN’s Adam Schefter hears from Cohen’s agents Drew Rosenhaus and Ryan Matha, who relay that their client is ready healthy, ready to work out, and wants to resume his NFL career. In case you’re unfamiliar with what it looked like when Cohen was at the peak of his powers, check this out:
One of my favorite Cohen anecdotes is something I mentioned when he was given the Ed Block Courage Award for 2021. And I have no qualms about sharing it again:
Cohen, a 2017 fourth-round pick, had a break-through rookie campaign in which he gained 1,570 all-purpose yards (which were the 10th most among all NFLers in 2017) and scored rushing, receiving, passing, and punt return touchdowns. No Bears rookie had pulled that off since Gale Sayers did it in 1965. A year later, Cohen earned first-team All-Pro honors as a return specialist and picked up another 1,599 all-purpose yards.
Those first two seasons were something else. All those yards, highlights, and clips. They were wild. You just had to be here to fully understand the awesomeness we witnessed.
CHECK IT OUT: Tarik Cohen’s Letter to His Younger Self is a Must-Read
Take a moment, step back, and think about Cohen’s accomplishments in a brief amount of time. A Pro Bowl nod in 2018 was a nice honor for an all-purpose machine from North Carolina A&T. As was getting All-Pro recognition the same season. I’ve gotta pat myself on the back for calling my shot on Cohen being the best candidate to break a lengthy first-team All-Pro drought the Bears had been suffering through. Having a truly electrifying player and a game-changer snatched from you due to injury is a gut-punch. And there is a part of me that is hoping that Cohen can get back to form now that he is healthy and ready to get back at it. Heck, part of me wonders if the Bears should give him a call.
Oh, don’t give me that look. The Bears have had their issues with punt returners and Cohen was one of the league’s best when he was an active player. Plus, Cohen is an accomplished pass catcher — both out of the backfield running HB angle routes and screen patterns and as a wide receiver. Do you remember when Cohen had the highest rate of times lining up in the slot or out wide? Because I certainly do.
OK, fine, I’ll admit some of this desire to give Cohen a look is rooted in nostalgia. But what is the harm in giving an old friend a look as he tries to get his NFL career re-started? In any case, I’ll be rooting hard for Cohen to get back into the league. His story deserves this chapter to be written.