NY Jets sign former All-Pro RB attempting inspirational NFL comeback

Tarik Cohen is attempting to complete the ultimate comeback
Tarik Cohen
Tarik Cohen / Rey Del Rio/GettyImages

Tarik Cohen is attempting to pull off the impossible and complete a storybook NFL comeback that has been marred by tragedy, loss, and misfortune. The NY Jets are affording him that opportunity.

The Jets have reportedly signed the former NFL running back and All-Pro return man to a one-year contract. Cohen has not appeared in an NFL game since September 2020, meaning it's been nearly four years since his last appearance.

Cohen's life and football career have been defined by a series of setbacks (to say the least). Off the field, Cohen has had to deal with unthinkable tragedies. On the field, he's attempting to return from a torn ACL and torn Achilles that have cost him the last three years of his career.

Much of Cohen's remarkable and emotional story can be found in an incredible piece written by the Players' Tribune that was published in May of 2022. I highly recommend anyone who hasn't read it already to check it out — it's a real tear-jerker.

What are the NY Jets getting in Tarik Cohen?

A fourth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Cohen spent four years in Chicago, earning All-Pro honors as a return specialist following a breakout 2018 season. In his prime, Cohen was one of the best receiving backs in football, hauling in a whopping 150 catches between 2018 and 2019.

Unfortunately, a serious knee injury suffered in September 2020 not only ended his season prematurely, but it spelled the end of his tenure with the Bears. He hasn't appeared in an NFL game since.

Cohen tore his Achilles in May 2022 while preparing for an NFL comeback, the latest setback in a long line of tragedies that the North Carolina A&T product has been forced to endure.

Remarkably, Cohen was signed to the Carolina Panthers practice squad in September of last year, and although he didn't appear in a game, it marked a huge step forward in his NFL comeback attempt.

Now, Cohen will be hoping to carve out a role with the Jets and complete one of the most miraculous comebacks in NFL history. He will be given every opportunity to do so as well.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh raved about Cohen's special teams versatility, suggesting that he will compete with Xavier Gipson for the primary kick/punt return job. Again, Cohen was named a first-team All-Pro return specialist in 2018, so he has plenty of experience as a returner.

Tarik Cohen's story is defined by resilience in the face of seemingly endless tragedy. His road to redemption has been equal parts challenging as it has been inspirational. Here's to hoping he finds a way to make it back onto an NFL field with the Jets.