Tarik Cohen, NFL, New York Jets, Chicago Bears
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Jets Taking Flyer On Former Bears Standout Tarik Cohen

There was a time, and not long ago, when Tarik Cohen was a pretty good running back and return specialist. But that was about four years ago, when Cohen played for the Chicago Bears. He was first-team All-Pro in 2018.

Now? Well, who knows? The New York Jets, though, intend to find out.

Cohen has missed the last three seasons with injuries, but the Jets have decided to sign him to a one-year contract anyway, as relayed by the New York Post, via ESPN.

Cohen, 28, appeared in three games with the Bears. That was the last time he's seen the field — though Jets coach Robert Saleh pumped his fist when asked about the signing.

"Yes," Saleh told NFL reporters. "Tarik, explosive playmaker, he's starting to get back healthy. With the new kickoff rules and these kick returners, they're going to touch the ball over 100 times a year, which is significant — at least that's what we're anticipating. And a guy like him, he's still young, obviously coming off his injuries, and we're excited to have him aboard."

If this were 2017, with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback and Cohen at running back, the Jets may be a force. Now, though, it's more like seeing and hoping that each of those players can rediscover some magic.

"Cohen established himself as a special teams weapon and receiving back during his active time with the Bears from 2017-20 before injuries derailed his career," wrote Matt Ehalt of the New York Post. "He tore his ACL early in the 2020 season and then missed the entire 2021 season while recovering. Cohen attempted to return in 2022 only to suffer a ruptured Achilles tendon that knocked him out for the entire season."

He spent last season with the Carolina Panthers practice squad before suffering a hamstring injury.