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Around the Horns: Old Vikings nemesis Devin Hester returns

Welcome to Around the Horns, our daily look at what's happening on the Minnesota Vikings beat:

The last time Devin Hester was at TCF Bank Stadium, he was a member of the Chicago Bears, playing a December 2010 game that had been moved from a dilapidated Metrodome to a field that didn't yet have a heating system. Hester set the NFL record for combined kick and punt return touchdowns that night in a game that gave the Bears the NFC North title.

Hester is back this weekend, with a new team (the Atlanta Falcons) and a new record (for the most overall return touchdowns in history). He's 31 years old, but in many ways, he's as good as he's ever been.

In addition to bringing a punt back for a touchdown on Sept. 18 against Tampa Bay, Hester has a rushing touchdown this season and has caught seven passes for 123 yards. As the Vikings face their old nemesis -- Hester has scored three times as many touchdowns against them as any other team -- they know not to assume he's slipped.

"Every time we go against him, he’s a huge challenge," special teams coordinator Mike Priefer said. "It might be a revival for him, but it’s still the same challenge for us. He’s just a great player."

Former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe frequently struggled to kick the ball away from Hester, but Priefer said he's made his instructions clear to Kluwe's successor, Jeff Locke.

"I thought Jeff had his best game of the year (last week)," Priefer said. "He kicked well against St. Louis, struggled a little bit against New England, did a really nice job last weekend. I told him just to build on his success and keep them high and short near the sideline or even out of bounds, I’ll take it against Devin."

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