Bears release RB Tarik Cohen, per report

Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen rushes with the ball against the New York Giants during the 2020 season.

The Bears are parting ways with running back Tarik Cohen.

The team will release the 26-year-old running back, who hasn’t played in a game since Week 3 of 2020, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday.

Cohen tore an ACL on a punt return during a game against the Atlanta Falcons in September 2020. He had surgery on his knee shortly afterward. The injury kept Cohen off the field through the remainder of 2020 and the entire 2021 season.

Cohen had been present at Halas Hall in Lake Forest throughout the 2021 season, rehabbing and helping out in practice however he could.

But according to Schefter, Cohen has not been able to pass a physical stemming from his 2020 knee injury. A year and a half removed from the initial injury, new Bears general manager Ryan Poles decided to move on from Cohen.

Poles’ predecessor, Ryan Pace, had awarded Cohen a three-year, $17.25 million contract extension a week before the injury occurred. The extension could’ve kept Cohen in Chicago through 2023. Cutting Cohen now saves $2.25 million against the salary cap in 2022.

The Bears drafted Cohen with a fourth-round pick in 2017. He played three full seasons with the Bears before his injury, carving out a role on offense as a change-of-pace running back and a solid receiving back. He was also a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro as a punt returner in 2018.

This marks the second big move of the week from Poles. The new GM traded former All-Pro pass rusher Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday.

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for the Shaw Local News Network. He has covered the Bears since 2020. Prior to writing about the Bears, he covered high school sports for the Northwest Herald and contributed to Friday Night Drive. Sean joined Shaw Media in 2016.