Teammates praise resilient Hester

November, 14, 2011
11/14/11
12:03
AM ET
Nick Roach Dennis Wierzbicki/US PresswireDevin Hester's playing status was in doubt for the entire week, but he came ready to play Sunday.

CHICAGO -- Devin Hester refused to speak with reporters on his way out of the Bears locker room, but his teammates had plenty to say about the return man's effort in the 37-13 win over the Lions.

"That dude is a monster man, he's like the [Michael] Jordan of football," Bears defensive tackle Anthony Adams said.

"That guy is amazing," receiver Earl Bennett added. "It doesn't get any better when it comes to the return game. He's one of those guys that can take it to the house at any time. He came out here and gave us everything he had on that sore ankle."

The Bears listed Hester as questionable on the official injury report heading into Sunday, but the only thing questionable was Detroit's decision to kick to football to the NFL's all-time leader in returns for touchdowns. Hester returned three punts for 122 yards, including an 82-yard touchdown that put the Bears up 20-0 in the second quarter.

“Devin Hester missed all of last week, a little under the weather also, along with an ankle injury," Bears head coach Lovie Smith said. "We felt like he could go. I’ve had a great seat to watch every return he’s had and he’s had a lot of great ones. Gutsy effort by him tonight. Special teams, I thought played well throughout."

Hester had to leave the game with just under 4:00 remaining in the first half, but it expected to be available when the Bears host San Diego next weekend.

“Again, he was a little under the weather," Smith said."He didn’t get a chance to practice a lot last week. I think the combination of all that, then early, when you have a long return, that didn’t help the case any either. He’ll come back ready to go.”

This marked Hester's 12th career punt return touchdown and 17th career kick return touchdown. Coupled with his 108-yard missed field goal return versus the Giants in 2006, Hester now has 18 return touchdowns in his career, one behind Hall of Famer Deion Sanders who accomplished the feat in 188 career games.

Hester had played in just 85 games, and the Bears are now 13-3 in which Hester records a return touchdown.


Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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