Hester Questionable For Sunday, Peppers Practiced OK Today................
Hester questionable with ankle
Posted: 11/11/2011 3:52:00 PM
Devin Hester was listed as questionable on the injury report after missing practice again Friday with an ankle injury, but the Bears are still hopeful he will be able to play Sunday against the Lions. See injury report.
“We’re still hopeful for Devin,” said coach Lovie Smith. “It’s never good when a player doesn’t practice. But if he’s ready to go Sunday, there’s still a chance we’ll let him go.”
Hester was named NFC special teams player of the month for October after averaging 16.3 yards on eight punt returns including a 69-yard touchdown and 30.9 yards on nine kickoff returns with a 98-yard TD. He was the only NFL player to return both a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns in October. His punt return TD was the 11th of his career, setting a league record by snapping a tie with Eric Metcalf. With the two TDs, Hester extended his NFL mark for combined kick return touchdowns to 16.
If Hester is unable to play, the Bears likely would turn to Johnny Knox on kickoff returns and Earl Bennett on punt returns. Knox returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown in a win over the Lions and Bennett brought back a punt 49 yards for a score in a loss to the Ravens, both in 2009.
“There’s only one Devin Hester; no one has anyone like him,” Smith said. “Without him there, we’ll just have another very good returner to replace him. We have other guys on our roster who have scored touchdowns in an NFL game, so we should be OK.”
Defensive end Julius Peppers (knee) practiced without restrictions Friday and is listed as probable. “He did everything, so hopefully he’ll be able to go too,” Smith said. “Friday isn’t like a Wednesday practice or anything like that. But he’s a quick healer as you’ve seen before, so hopefully he’ll be able to go.”