By: Alex Patt
Bears rookie running back Tarik Cohen has been a valuable asset to the team so far this season. Coming out of last year’s draft, the “Human Joystick” looked like a great option to back up Jordan Howard in the backfield. In his first few games, he did just that as he had rushed for 226 yards on 50 attempts in the first six games. He also has been used as a receiver for both Glennon and Trubsiky as he has 234 receiving yards so far this season.
The last two games, it has been strange. Cohen has just two rushing yards on four rushing attempts total in the last two match ups against the Panthers and Saints. Trubisky did not hand the ball off once to him against the Panthers and all four times the past two weeks were in the last game in New Orleans. He did score a touchdown as he jumped over a pile of Saints, but otherwise has seen no production rushing wise.
It is also noteworthy that he has 76 receiving yards the past two games on two recorded catches. The thin receiver core continues to make the Bears use their running backs as targets more often. But considering Fox and Loggains have been using the run game like crazy since Trubisky took over, it is very odd seeing Cohen only get four rush attempts the past two games.
Jordan Howard is getting a lot of the load when it comes to running the ball as he has 410 yards and 99 rush attempts in the last four games (the four that Trubisky has started). He is doing a good job, as he has averaged 4.1 yards in that span. However with a young and versatile running back in Cohen, it is odd to see him not get more rush attempts lately if they want to stick to a heavier run game right now.
Will things change? We will see. The Bears schedule eases up quite a bit in a few weeks and the defenses they face will not be as fearsome. The Bears adding WR Dontrelle Inman can help Trubisky with having a reliable downfield target and go to a bit more of a passer offense. Cohen will still be used as a receiver and special teams guy, but it is hard to imagine him getting as little rushing time as he has had lately in the future. The Bears have to spread things out a little more and be less predictable, and if they still want to pound out a lot of rushing yards, both Howard and Cohen have to be used.