Bears RB Tarik Cohen Sounds Off Amid Rumors of His Exit

Tarik Cohen

Getty Bears RB Tarik Cohen took to Instagram to deliver a message to his doubters.

Tarik Cohen hasn’t played in an NFL game since September of 2020, when he tore his ACL, and his future with the Chicago Bears remains murky as a result.

Cohen’s $5.75 million cap hit next season may be the determining factor for new Bears general manager Ryan Poles, who was non-committal when he was asked about the running back at the scouting combine.

“I don’t really want to get into the medical piece of individual players, but we’ll just take it a day at a time to figure out where he’s at for us,” Poles said on March 1.

The speedy gadget back’s recovery has been a slow one, and with a new regime in town, rumors of his being a potential cap casualty have gone into hyperdrive.

Cohen took to Instagram on March 4 to share a message, along with a video of himself watching his own game film, which highlighted specific routes he ran while lining up as a wide receiver.

“Name another RB running routes from the Z position not just go’s,” he captioned. “But real route routes. Wait till I’m back. I just be having to remind y’all fr.”

Tarik Cohen

Tarik Cohen wrote this on Instagram on March 4.

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Cohen’s Recovery Has Been Difficult to Say the Least

In a November 2020 appearance on The HOT Seat Podcast, Cohen spoke about his recovery from his knee injury for the first time after it happened, and he detailed the difficulties of his recovery process.

“With this injury, it’s slow. There’s nothing I can do,” Cohen said then. “I gotta just take it one day at a time … just do the things the trainers tell me to do. The main thing they’ve been telling me is, working at home by myself, trying to get my knee flexion, range of motion back, just constant repetition, and I feel like that’s just the hardest part. And then definitely the second hardest part is the pain — the pain when they’re bending my leg in physical therapy? That be the most excruciating pain I ever felt.”

When Cohen didn’t return at all last season, it seemed likely that a setback of some sort had occurred, but former Bears head coach Matt Nagy refused to confirm or deny whether that was the case.

Cohen also commented on his recovery during a conversation with The Ringer’s Kevin Clark on February 8.

“I’m scared to come back a different player not the same when I was,” Cohen told Clark. “I won’t let myself come back before I’m ready and before I feel I can put the same performances on that I was putting on before I got hurt.”

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Cohen Was a Legit Receiving Threat Coming Out of the Backfield

Since getting drafted by the Bears in 2017, Cohen has rushed 264 times for 1,101 yards, (4.2 yards per carry) and five 5 TDs, and, as he noted, also established himself as quite the dual-threat. He also has 209 receptions for 1,575 yards (7.5 yards per catch) and nine receiving TDs in that span and was an All-Pro punt returner in 2018.

It’s clear Cohen is itching to get back on the field again, but time will tell how long that takes. Whenever he does return, he’ll likely be playing for another team — and with a very large chip on his shoulder.

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