The Chicago Bears may have added yet another ridiculous fourth quarter comeback to their resume, but they also suffered a huge loss in Sunday’s 30-26 win over the Atlanta Falcons. All-Pro punt returner and speedy gadget back Tarik Cohen went down with an injury while fielding a punt in the fourth quarter, and it was apparent when he hit the turf that he was in immense pain. Cohen left the game immediately and did not return.
After the game, Bears head coach Matt Nagy gave an update on Cohen’s status, and it wasn’t good. “It looks like he did end up tearing his ACL,” Nagy said. “That’ll be a big blow to us.”
A big blow indeed. Cohen has never missed a game since getting drafted by the Bears in the fourth round out of North Carolina A&T in 2017 — he hadn’t even shown up on the injury report once prior to going down against the Falcons. The Bears will now have to move forward without their primary punt returner, and they’ll miss his speed and playmaking abilities on offense, as well.
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Tarik Cohen Just Signed Three-Year Extension With Chicago Last Week
The ink on Cohen’s new contract extension with the Bears is barely dry. The running back signed a three-year, $17.25 million extension last Saturday, and he now makes an average of $5.75 million per year. With incentives built into the contract, it could ultimately turn into an 18.25 million, $6.093 per year deal, although his injury will likely affect that.
Cohen will still make $9.53 million in fully guaranteed money, and he will have a chance to increase that to around $12 million if he performs well over the next two seasons. After the game, some of Cohen’s current and former teammates showed him some love and support on Twitter, including fellow rusher David Montgomery.
Love you 29 !!!!
— David Montgomery (@MontgomerDavid) September 27, 2020
Tarik is a freak athlete this is a setback for him and I’m looking forward to his comeback. As solid a person as they come https://t.co/eHYeI7fH2A
— Kyle (@Ky1eLong) September 27, 2020
Tarik Cohen Valued By This Bears Team, Coaching Staff
“The Bears offered me a good deal, and the history that I have with the team and just the family-like bond that I feel with not only the players, but the ownership and the coaching, I felt like it was only right for me to stay here,” Cohen said last week after singing his extension. “They gave me my first shot and I feel like I’m always loyal to the people who are loyal to me.”
The feeling is mutual. While Cohen had an off year in 2019, he said that Nagy and company had faith he would bounce back in 2020.
“They also see where I can go from here,” Cohen said about what the Bears see in him. “They know that I had a bad year last year and they saw the way I approached this offseason, putting last year behind me and just trying to be a better me and fit better into the offense and become that weapon that they see me as.”
Despite the injury, Cohen’s fit within Nagy’s offense won’t change, and neither will his role on or importance to the team. Here’s to a speedy recovery for the speedy fourth-year back.