CHICAGO -- There was a time not so long ago -- like earlier this season -- that it was safe to wonder if Devin Hester had lost his mojo and -- forget the all-time record -- if he would ever return another punt or kickoff for a touchdown.
Opponents had long since figured out how to kick, or more accurately, not to kick to him. Heading into the third week of the season, Hester had not returned a kick for a touchdown since December of 2007, a span of 31 games.
And worse, he had become tentative, a word you once could not imagine sharing the same sentence with one of the all-time great returners in the game. There were even, horrors, observations that Hester appeared eager to run out of bounds.