The Bears lost plenty when running back Tarik Cohen suffered a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Not all of it had to do with the yards he gained, passes he caught or punts he fielded—although certainly made a difference there, as well. 

Bears running back David Montgomery saw one of the real energy boosters removed from the team's lineup with Cohen's departure.

"I talk with Tarik all the time as far as where he is on rehab, where he's at mentally, making sure he's good," Montgomery said. "He's a high-end big-energy guy for this team, and for this offense, especially. So we definitely miss that guy, having him around, being the type of team player he is and also for being that funny, cool guy that you need on the team."

Cohen provided that counter punch as a big-play and speed threat from the backfield, and his absence could be at least partially reflected in how the Bears average 44 yards the last four games on the ground and 138 yards before the injury.

However, Cohen also supplied his unique sense of humor to the huddle, the sidelines and the locker room to unite the team.

"Tarik is definitely the guy," wide receiver Darnell Mooney said. "You definitely felt it the following week after he was gone, he was our energy."

Cohen suffered the injury making a fair catch against Atlanta late in the third win. He was hit in the leg by a defender who officials ruled was blocked into Cohen.

"Even on the sideline he would get everybody pumped up, like 'C'mon, let's pump up the defense,' " Mooney said. "And just yelling at us, getting the offense together so we can go out and score some points.

"Even in practice he was the energy. He was the guy that got everyone smiling around. He's definitely a big loss for us, for excitement-wise and energy. I have to say he's our guy."

Hope isn't lost, though. Montgomery said he's seeing alternatives.

"But what you find out is like once you have somebody of such a big impact kind of be removed you find it in other people too—where you least expect it in some people it kind of comes out more so," Montgomery said. "Losing Tarik kind of sucked but you kind of see what other guys we kind of got, who funny they are, how high-energy they are too.

"So it was a loss for Tarik but it was a win finding out what other guys had it as well."

Lamar Miller has yet to play a down for the Bears and has been a practice squad back so far, but has shown Montgomery he can be the comic relief and possibly a spark in the future.

"I know Lamar just got here but he's pretty funny," Montgomery said. "He's actually a character in himself. You've got Cordarrelle (Patterson). He's hilarious as well."

And the sly comedian? Nick Foles, but you really need to listen to what he says.

"Because, like, the average Brainiac wouldn't understand the funny of Nick but once you kind of like pay attention to Nick he's actually pretty hilarious," Montgomery said.

Montgomery doesn't think it will be long before everyone can see what Miller can contribute besides his personality.

"He's a great vet," Montgomery said. "He's big on letting me know that you've just got to stick with it. And you know, he's being sure that I'm maintaining confidence in myself."

The Bears have taken it slow with Miller because he has been out since preseason 2019 due to a torn ACL.

"He's being sure that I'm having fun with the game just because he knows that it can all be gone—one play away, an injury away, you know, anything can happen so you want to just be sure that you take advantage of every opportunity and just remember to have fun with it because this is a game at the end of the day," Montgomery said.

It's a lesson Miller knows, and one all the Bears realize after osing Cohen.

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