Devin Hester breaks franchise record in Bears’ comeback win


Devin Hester broke his own record Sunday as he helped the Chicago Bears to a 31-30 comeback victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

According to the team’s website, Hester’s four kickoff returns against the Vikings are his most against any NFL team.  He also broke his own single-game franchise record with 249 return yards .

“Before the kickoff, I just said, ‘I don’t care how deep this guy kicks it, I am bringing it out,'” Hester said. “And that’s the mentality I told my (special teams teammates) about. If you get punched in the mouth like that, we’re not going to just fold down and back down. If you kick it 9 (yards) deep, we’re coming out. So don’t expect me to take a knee.”

Hester’s returns of 76 and 80 yards put the Bears in great field position after the Vikings had scored on a 105-yard kickoff return and a 61-yard fumble return.

“Hester is amazing,” said tight end Martellus Bennett, who caught a 1-yard touchdown pass following Hester’s 76-yard return. “Anytime he touches the ball you’re like, ‘OK, what’s going to happen?” He put us in great field position the whole day. They did a great job blocking.

“When he has the ball, I’m a spectator. I’m cheering and I’m jumping. It’s just fun to watch him back there. We always joke with him and say, ‘You’ve got to make your money this week because you’re just returning kicks.’ He earned his check today.”

Hester’s previous single-game record was 225 yards in a 42 42-27 Monday night win over the Rams in St. Louis on Dec. 11, 2006.  He scored two touchdowns on kickoff returns in that game.

“I was really excited about seeing Devin Hester today run and return,” said coach Marc Trestman. “He was a big factor in the game, not only when he had his hands on the ball, but he was a factor in the game when they didn’t want to kick to him because we had field position.”

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