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Jets sign former A&T Aggie and All-Pro NFL player Tarik Cohen


Chicago Bears’ player Tarik Cohen during a 2018 NFL game against the NY Giants.[/caption]

Aaron Rodgers is no longer the only former All-Pro looking to return from a serious injury for the 2024 New York Jets. Enter Tarik Cohen, the former Chicago Bears standout, who has once again revived his NFL comeback efforts, joining Rodgers and the Jets on Wednesday with a reported one-year deal.

Cohen, 28, was released by the Carolina Panthers earlier this month, marking the latest setback in his journey to retake the field. An All-Pro and Pro Bowl honoree back in 2018, the former multipurpose star hasn’t taken an NFL snap since 2020, missing the last three seasons due to a string of serious injuries.

A torn ACL, MCL and leg fracture initially cost Cohen most of the 2020 campaign, his first after landing a three-year extension with the Bears. Released by Chicago after then missing all of 2021, Cohen then suffered a torn Achilles - the same injury that sidelined Rodgers for much of 2023 - while working out as a free agent. He signed to Carolina’s practice squad last September but didn’t appear in a game.

Now the one-time return star will have a chance to make the Jets’ roster as a reserve running back and special teamer. Breece Hall and rookie fourth-round draft pick Braelon Allen are all but locks to headline the backfield, but with the NFL revamping the kick return for 2024, Cohen could have an opportunity to vie for snaps as a return man alongside second-year wide receiver Xavier Gipson.

“With the new kickoff rules and these kick returners, they’re going to touch the ball over 100 times a year, which is significant,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said Wednesday. “At least that’s what we’re anticipating. And a guy like him, he’s still young, obviously coming off his injuries, but we’re excited to have him aboard.”

Cohen notably approached 1,600 all-purpose yards in each of his first two NFL seasons, overcoming a smaller stature (5-foot-6, 191 pounds) to make an impact as both a pass catcher, kick and punt returner.