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Chalk Talk

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Chalk Talk: What's latest news on Tarik Cohen?

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

I've been a Bears fan since 1963! Why are we hearing nothing about Tarik Cohen? Is he on IR or PUP? When is his expected return?
Jim N.
Eugene, Oregon

Running back Tarik Cohen has been on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list since the start of training camp. There haven't been many updates on the fifth-year pro, who continues to recover from a torn ACL he sustained last season in a Week 3 win over the Falcons. Asked about Cohen Monday, coach Matt Nagy said: "Physically, he's just going through all his rehab. He's out there trying to stay as flexible as he can and running around doing different things with [head trainer Andre Tucker]. I'm not out there when he's doing his stuff, so I don't know the exact details of what he's doing, but he's definitely progressing. I don't have a timeline for him [to return], but I think that he's in a good place. I know it's been frustrating for him, but he's working hard."

I feel like we are watching Sam Mustipher transform into an All-Pro lineman right before our eyes. When I watched his press conference after the preseason win over the Dolphins, I felt even more convinced. How many times in the modern era have the Bears turned an undrafted offensive lineman into a Pro Bowler?
Mike M.

That's mighty high praise from you for center Sam Mustipher, who enters his first full season as a Bears starter. I know the team is very high on him as a player and leader and is confident he will raise his game to the next level this year. If Mustipher does in fact earn a trip to the Pro Bowl, he would be the Bears' third undrafted offensive lineman to accomplish that feat in the Super Bowl era. The other two are center Jay Hilgenberg, who started seven straight Pro Bowls from 1985-91, and defensive lineman-turned-offensive tackle James "Big Cat" Williams in 2001.

With rosters being cut during the preseason, I see Bears players being released or waived. What is the advantage to the team of one versus the other?
Keith V.
Dyer, Indiana

All players with fewer than four accrued seasons of NFL experience who are cut during training camp are officially "waived" and go through a waiver system where they can be claimed by another team. Players with four or more accrued NFL seasons who are cut are "released" and can sign immediately with the team of their choice. Actually, the correct term for vested veterans with at least four years of experience who are released is "terminated," but that's kind of harsh and a lot of media outlets use the word "released" instead. Once the trading deadline passes during the regular season, all players—including vested veterans—are subject to waivers.

Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.

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