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Bears training camp: Cohen’s Week 1 status in doubt

The electric back has yet to participate during camp. The Bears say he’s on the right track, but it doesn’t mean there’s an imminent return on the horizon.

NFL: Chicago Bears OTA Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

With a little under three weeks before the Bears travel to Los Angeles to take on the Rams and kick off the 2021 season, Tarik Cohen has yet to partake in any meaningful football activity. Following a torn ACL suffered late last September, the Bears maintain his progress is, apparently, where they expect it. But his status for the opener is now in question.

In response to a question about Cohen’s readiness for September 12, Nagy was noncommital and said, “I don’t know about that.” In a translation of coach-speak, you won’t see him against the Rams. For a player as explosive as Cohen at his best, it’s not surprising he’s not prepared for full-scale action yet. Everyone recovers differently from ACL injuries, and a roughly 11-month timeline is still quite fast compared to most people, let alone top-tier NFL athletes. But it does beg the question of when exactly the Bears will see Cohen making a fool of defenders again.

The 26-year-old had a stroke of good fortune when he signed a three-year, $17.25 million deal with approximately $12 million guaranteed last off-season before his injury. That kind of commitment speaks to the Bears expecting Cohen to eventually return to form, as the useful all-purpose back he made a name for himself to start his career. In the early throes of the development of Justin Fields, Chicago could also use every weapon it can get. Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, David Montgomery, and Cole Kmet are a good start, but having another game-breaker like Cohen in the fold makes that dynamic all the more enticing.

One can only hope for both the Bears’ and Cohen’s sake that he’s back to leaving linebackers and safeties in the dust very soon.