CHICAGO — After struggling with injuries the past three years, a former Bears draft pick will get the chance to restart his career in the National Football League.

That opportunity for Tarik Cohen is going to come in his home state.

Per numerous reports, the running back is signing with the Panthers’ practice squad on Wednesday as they prepare for their Monday night home opener against the Saints in Charlotte.

It will be the first time that Cohen, a Bunn, North Carolina native, has been with a team since the Bears released him in March 2022, when Ryan Poles took over as the Bears’ general manager.

This is the next step in the NFL comeback for the running back and kick returner who was the fourth round pick of the Bears in the 2017 NFL Draft. Cohen was a first team All-Pro and Pro Bowl punt returner in 2018 and signed a three-year, $17.25 million contract on September 20, 2020.

But the problems started later that week when Cohen tore his ACL, MCL, and tibial plateau fracture against the Falcons in Atlanta, putting him out for that season. As he continued to work to get back into playing form, the running back was never activated by the Bears during the entire 2021 season.

Another bad break came in May 2022 when Cohen suffered a torn Achilles during a training workout, which he had been broadcasting live on Instagram. At that point, he was looking to sign with a team, but hasn’t been on a roster as he continued to recover.

In four seasons with the Bears, Cohen rushed for 1,101 yards and five touchdowns while also making 209 receptions for 1,575 yards and nine touchdowns. He averaged 10.3 yards in 96 punt returns with a touchdown during his time in Chicago, including a 12.5 yard per punt return in his All-Pro, Pro Bowl season in 2018.