With the Chicago Bears’ top two ball carriers, Jordan Howard and Jeremy Langford, inactive for Week 2 of the preseason, rookie running back Tarik Cohen took full advantage of his playing time in the Bears’ 24-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Cohen was inserted into the starting lineup, and shined even brighter than he did in Week 1.
The 2017 fourth-round draft pick ended the game with 77 rushing yards on 11 carries. Along with his speed and quickness around the edge, Cohen also showed his strength when breaking tackles. Through the first two games of the preseason, Cohen has averaged 6.4 yards per carry, and after Saturday night’s game, is the fourth-leading rusher of the preseason with 116 yards.
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According to the Bears’ website, the 5-foot-6, 181 pounder is currently the No. 3 running back on the depth chart, behind Howard and Langford. With another highly productive game in Week 3, when Chicago will face the Tennessee Titans, Cohen could make a major argument for being the team’s No. 2 running back. With teams expected to play their first-stringers for the majority of the game, there’s a good chance that head coach John Fox will want to see what Cohen can do against NFL starters. Furthermore, the North Carolina A&T product can make either Langford or Ka’Deem Carey expendable.
Langford has already taken a back seat on the depth chart, due to the breakout 2016 season by Howard, and now will probably have to outplay Carey just to stay on the 53-man roster. Although Carey had a decent game in Week 1, he only gained seven yards on six carries versus Arizona. If he doesn’t outperform Langford throughout the remainder of the preseason, or make his mark on special teams, there’s a good chance Carey could be on his way out of the Windy City.
Overall, Cohen has proved that his play is much bigger than his stature, and that he could be a wildcard in the Bears’ offense this year. Once the regular season rolls around, don’t be surprised to see Cohen’s name near the top of Chicago’s depth chart.