“Tarik (is an) explosive playmaker (and) is starting to get back healthy,” Saleh said. “With the new kickoff rules and these kick returners, they’re gonna touch the ball over 100 times a year, which is significant. 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.”

The fourth-year lead man added that 23-year-old wideout Xavier Gipson will get “first dibs” in the return game, but Cohen will be in the competition for touches.

Gipson had all 33 punt returns for Gang Green last season, posting 319 yards and one touchdown, while adding 22 kickoff returns for 511 yards. The undrafted Dallas native also posted 21 receptions for 229 yards and eight carries for 68 yards and one score for 1,127 all-purpose yards.

A fourth-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2017, Cohen spent the first three-plus seasons of his career in the Windy City until 2020.

The North Carolina A&T product had his breakout in 2018, posting career highs in rushing attempts (99), rushing yards (444), rushing touchdowns (three) and receiving yards (725). Cohen led Chicago that season in receptions (71) and yards from scrimmage (career-high 1,169), while scoring eight touchdowns as well (five through the air).

He added 33 punt returns for 411 yards, both of which led the NFL and ended the campaign with 1,599 all-purpose yards while earning first team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors.

Cohen suffered a season-ending ACL injury in Week 3 of the 2020 campaign, which was his most recent contest. After not being able to pass a physical in March 2022, Cohen was released by the Bears with an injury designation.

The 28-year-old went down with a torn Achilles during a live-streamed training session on Instagram in May 2022, again delaying his progress.

It was reported in August 2023 that Cohen was healthy and ready for NFL workouts.

He signed with the Panthers’ practice squad in September, was placed on injured reserve in November with a hamstring issue and re-activated in December but never played in a game with Carolina.

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