New York Jets sign former Chicago Bears RB Tarik Cohen

Cohen hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since 2020

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

Former Bears running back Tarik Cohen is making a comeback.

Cohen signed a one-year contract with the New York Jets on Wednesday. Cohen hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since tearing his ACL in 2020. The one-time Pro Bowl running back was a dangerous rushing and receiving threat, while also returning kicks and punts, for the Bears before his injury.

Selected in the fourth round of the 2017 draft, Cohen appeared in every Bears game from 2017-19. He totaled 1,169 yards from scrimmage in 2018 and earned a Pro Bowl appearance. That season, Cohen helped the Bears to a 12-4 finish and their first playoff appearance in eight years.

Hours before a Week 2 kickoff against the New York Giants in 2020, the Bears signed Cohen to a three-year, $17.25 million contract extension. A week later, Cohen tore his ACL returning a punt during a game in Atlanta.

The injury caused Cohen to miss the remainder of the 2020 season. Complications from the ACL injury dragged on and forced Cohen to miss the entire 2021 season, as well.

That offseason the Bears fired general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy. New GM Ryan Poles later released Cohen in March 2022.

Cohen was trying to find a job with another team when he tore his Achilles tendon during a workout in May 2022. The injury happened while he was broadcasting his workout on Instagram live. Cohen missed all of the 2022 season with the Achilles injury.

He was cleared to return to football in August 2023. He spent most of the 2023 season with the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad. He did not appear in any games for the Panthers in 2023.

The Panthers cut Cohen this month, but Cohen now lands a new job with the Jets. It will be an uphill battle for him to make the Jets’ 53-man roster. New York returns running backs Breece Hall and Israel Abanikanda. The Jets also drafted two running backs: Braelon Allen in the fourth round and Isaiah Davis in the fifth round.

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.