CHICAGO (CBS) — With the start of Camp Bear-Bonnais a little over a week away, Bears running back Tarik Cohen is enjoying his last few days of freedom on the football field. The reason he plays the game he loves has really hit home for Cohen.
“It took me a long time in my life to meet my first NFL player,” the 5 foot 6 inches running back. “I like getting to the younger kids and being the first NFL player they meet, so it sets them up like ‘well he’s like my size, so I can probably do it too.’”READ MORE: Families Hold Unity Rally To Remember Loved Ones Lost To Gun Violence
Cohen was like a kid again Monday at his football camp. He says the 150 campers brightened his day.
He is still trying to cope with the fact that his 19-year-old brother Dante was shot in Raleigh, North Carolina in early June and is paralyzed from the waist down.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Slightly Warmer Temperatures Before Cold Returns
“I feel like I was injured also,” said Cohen. “Somebody I have been around my whole life. I feel we’re one, like he isn’t a different person, we’re the same person. If anything affects him, it affects me. That’s my little brother and I do my best to protect him my whole life then when this happens, it’s like a culture shock to me, so then I try to be around him and encourage him as much as possible and let him know everything will be alright.”
Cohen said he just wants to do things for his brother. “I know it’s not possible, but I want to walk for him,” said Cohen. “I want to experience things in my life and let him see those things so that he can feel as though he has done it also.”MORE NEWS: Woman Questions COVID-19 Clinic After Receiving Results Before Testing
Tarik says he’s anxious to report to Bears training camp, but he’s going to have a whole new perspective on football and life. He said his purpose now is to help his brother recover from this tragedy the best way he can.