The Bears survived 19-14 against the Giants on Sunday, and one back change offensively was the commitment to keep running back Tarik Cohen in a starring role.
His involvement has grown over the past few weeks, and the increase coincides with Matt Nagy saying after the Eagles game, “We need to do a better job of getting him the ball and doing different things with him.”
After playing just 16 snaps in back-to-back games against the Chargers and Eagles, Cohen got 29 against the Lions, 45 against the Rams and 42 in Sunday’s win over the Giants. Cohen also tied his season high with a combined 15 rushes and targets, matching what he got in the Rams and Saints games.
While he had modest success as a runner at 4.2 yards per carry, he caught seven passes for just 29 yards.
The Bears still haven’t gotten Cohen back to where he was last season, when he led the team with 1,169 yards from scrimmage. He got 261 targets plus rushes and averaged 6.9 yards per touch.
Here’s a look at what else can be learned from the snap counts Sunday:
Tight end still a void
With the tight end corps stripped by injuries to Trey Burton and Adam Shaheen, it’s Ben Braunecker time. Braunecker played 71 percent of the snaps and had two catches for 9 yards.
Behind Braunecker, the Bears used J.P. Holtz on 41 percent of their plays (some at fullback) and Jesper Horsted four snaps. Horsted, making his NFL debut, had a 4-yard catch on his only target.
Moving parts on o-line
Right tackle Bobby Massie made it through 74 percent of the snaps before exiting with a sprained ankle. The Bears replaced him with Cornelius Lucas, who usually jumps in as a blocking tight end in the I-formation. The rest of the offensive linemen played every snap.
With Lucas moving to right tackle for a while, backup interior lineman Ted Larsen likely becomes the extra blocker when needed. He played one snap Sunday: a failed third-and-1 in which David Montgomery lost a yard.
Khalil Mack had his fourth-lightest workload of the season, playing just 52 snaps (87 percent).
Safeties Eddie Jackson and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, cornerback Kyle Fuller and linebacker Roquan Smith each played every snap defensively.
Linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, playing for Danny Trevathan, logged 95 percent of the defensive snaps, plus 13 snaps on special teams.