When Chicago Bears veterans begin training camp activities later this week, Tarik Cohen will not be one of them. As he continues to recover from an ACL tear suffered last September, the 25-year-old tailback will begin camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, report the Bears.
The news does not come as a surprise. In the 10 months since his knee injury, Cohen has progressed well in his rehabilitation by all accounts — most recently, a self-referencing allusion to Goku from Dragon Ball Z from the fifth-year back himself. Since Cohen can be activated off the PUP list at any time, this move is more of a small precaution on the Bears’ part, not a reflection of a setback.
A valuable pass catcher both out of the backfield and the slot, Cohen should figure to have a major role in the Andy Dalton-Justin Fields-led-offense. In the best year of his career, 2018, he had 170 touches (99 carries, 71 receptions) on offense. It would not be a stretch to assume a similar workload this fall, especially as a receiver. But he’ll need to be healthy before taking on the brunt of any such responsibilities. Not to be outdone, the financial terms are also in play. Coming off a three-year, $17.25 million deal (with just over $12 million guaranteed) signed last summer, it is in the interest of all parties that Cohen have his sea legs under him before risking further injury.
Meanwhile, rookie Dazz Newsome is still recovering from the broken collar bone he suffered in Juan at an OTA practice. He was also not listed in the team online media gallery with rookies hitting the practice fields early Sunday morning. Provided he gets healthy quickly, the 2021 sixth-round draft pick out of North Carolina should figure heavily into a receiving competition alongside names like Damiere Byrd, Marquise Goodwin, Riley Ridley, and Javon Wims. Nevertheless, until then, like Cohen, Newsome can be activated for full activity at any moment.
The Bears’ entire roster reports to training camp at Halas Hall this Tuesday.