PRO CAREER: Three-time Pro Bowl selection, holds the all-time NFL record for combined career kick return touchdowns with 17... Also set the NFL record for punt return touchdowns (12)… 5th in NFL history in punt return average (12.1)…Holds the franchise record for career punt return yards (2,985), which are 11th most in NFL history… Ranks third in franchise history in kickoff return yards (4,068)… 18 total return touchdowns (12 punt, 5 kickoff and 1 missed field goal) are second most in NFL history behind Hall of Famer Deion Sanders (19)… Five kickoff return touchdowns are tied for eighth most in NFL history... As a wide receiver, has posted 217 receptions for 2,807 yards (12.9 ypc) and 14 TDs with 46 starts…One of just 4 players in NFL history to surpass the 2,500-yard mark in receiving yards, punt return yards and kickoff return yards (Billy Johnson, David Meggett and Eric Metcalf)… Paces NFL with 51 punt returns of 20+ yards since 2006… Tied an NFL record with 8 TDs of 50+ yards in 2007… Posted 12 return touchdowns (7 punt, 4 kickoff and 1 missed FG) in the 2006-07 seasons, the most ever by a player in his first two seasons and the most ever in consecutive years… Broke his own NFL record for kick return touchdowns in a season (4 punt, 2 kickoff) in 2007… Holds franchise single-game records with 152 punt return yards at ARZ (10/16/06) and 225 kickoff return yards at STL (12/11/06)… Totaled 314 combined kick return yards (219 kickoff, 95 punt) at DET (9/30/07), the highest total in franchise history and 2nd-highest total in NFL annals… Became sixth player in NFL history to record 2 kickoff returns for touchdowns in the same game with returns of 94 and 96 yards at STL (12/11/06) and the fifth player in NFL history to have multiple games with two or more kick return touchdowns (also, 11/25/07 vs. DEN)… Set an NFL record with 6 return touchdowns in a single-season during his rookie campaign in 2006… Became the first player in NFL history to return the opening kickoff of a Super Bowl for a touchdown when he returned Super Bowl XLI’s first play 92 yards for a score… Tied teammate Nathan Vasher’s franchise record for longest play with a 108-yard missed field goal return TD at NYG (11/12/06), which is tied for the second longest play in NFL history… Totaled 11 tackles and 1 PBU as a reserve cornerback as a rookie… Returned 9 kickoffs for 214 yards (23.8 avg) and 1 TD and 11 punts for 78 yards (7.1 avg) in 5 career playoff games.
HONORS & AWARDS: 2011 - NFC Special Teams Player of the Month (10/11); NFC Special Teams Player of the Week (vs. CAR, 10/2; vs. MIN, 10/16; vs. DET, 11/13). 2010 - Pro Bowl; All-Pro (AP, Sporting News); All-NFL (Pro Football Weekly); Special Teams Player of the Year (NFL Alumni); NFC Special Teams Player of the Week (vs. MIN, 11/14; at MIN, 12/20). 2009 - All-decade team (ESPN, AP); 2007 - Pro Bowl; All-Pro (AP); NFC Special Teams Player of the Month (9/07); NFC Special Teams Player of the Week (vs. KC, 9/16/07; vs. MIN, 10/14/07; vs. DEN, 11/25/07; vs. NO, 12/30/07). 2006 - Pro Bowl; All-Pro (AP); First-team All-Pro
(Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Sports Weekly, The Sporting News, ESPN.com); All-NFL as PR (Pro Football Weekly); All-NFC as PR & KR (Pro Football Weekly); All-Rookie as PR & KR (Pro Football Weekly); NFC Special Teams Player of the Month (12/06); NFC Special Teams Player of the Week (at NYG, 11/12/06; vs. MIN, 12/3/06; at STL, 12/11/06); Brian Piccolo Award.
CAREER TRANSACTIONS: Entered NFL as a second-round selection (57th overall) by Chicago in the 2006 NFL Draft… Signed 4-year contract with Bears (7/3/06)… Signed 4-year extension with Bears (7/27/08). SIGNED through 2013
2012 SEASON: Totaled 1,200 yards on the season with 242 receiving yards, 331 punt return yards, 621 kickoff return yards and 6 rushing yards in 15 contests with 5 starts… Hauled in 23 receptions with 1 touchdown as a wide receiver… Had 40 punt returns and 24 kickoff returns averaging 8.3 yards per punt return and 25.9 yards per kickoff return… 5 punt returns of 20-plus yards were tied for 5th most in the NFL… Inactive Week 13 vs. SEA (12/2) due to concussion suffered in Week 12 vs. MIN (11/25). GAMES PLAYED-STARTED: 15-5
PREVIOUS SEASONS: 2011 - Started 8-of-16 games played, catching 26 passes for 369 yards (14.2 avg) and 1 TD... Led the NFL in punt return average (16.2), returning 28 punts for 454 yards and 2 TDs... Also returned 33 kickoffs for 723 yards (21.9 avg) and a touchdown... Tied for NFL lead with nine punt returns of 20+ yards (Ted Ginn, Jr.). 2010 - Started 13-of-16 games played, catching 40 passes for 475 yards (11.9 avg) and a career-high 4 TD receptions... Led the NFL in punt return average (17.1), returning 33 punts for 564 yards and a league-high 3 TDs... Also returned 12 kickoffs for 427 yards (35.6 avg), which led the NFL among players with at least 10 returns... Tied for fourth in the NFL in kickoff returns of 40+ yards (5)... Carried the ball 7 times for 30 yards (4.3 avg). 2009 - Led the team in receiving yards (757) and tied for second in receptions (57)… Matched a career high with 3 TD receptions… Returned 24 punts for 187 yards (7.8 avg) and 7 kickoffs for 156 yards (22.3)… Carried the ball 6 times for -1 yard… Posted his first 100-yard receiving game of his career, setting career highs with 8 catches for 101 yards at CIN (10/25)… Suffered a calf injury that kept him out of three games late in the season… Led Chicago in receiving yards five times and in receptions on three occasions. 2008 - Saw significant time at WR, starting a career-high 8 games... Led Chicago with a team and career-high 665 yards receiving and paced the Bears WRs with a career-high 51 catches... Tallied 3 receiving TDs... Rushed for 61 yards on 6 carries... Averaged 21.9 yards per kickoff return (679 yards on 31 returns) and returned 32 punts for 198 yards (6.2 avg). 2007 - Set the single-season NFL record with 6 kick returns for touchdowns with an NFL-tying 4 punt return TDs and 2 kickoff returns for scores... Appeared in all 16 games, leading the NFC (2nd in NFL) in punt return average (15.5) and ranking 2nd in the NFC in punt return yards (651) and total return yards (1,585)... Established single-season franchise mark for punt return yards (651), which is the 9th highest total in NFL history... Returned 43 kickoffs for 934 yards (21.7)... Led the Bears with 8 touchdowns (4 punt returns, 2 kickoff returns, 2 receiving)... Made transition from cornerback to wide receiver, catching 20 passes for 299 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a Bears season-long 81-yard reception vs. MIN (10/14). 2006 - Played in all 16 games, leading the NFL in punt returns (47) and punt return yards (600) and was tied for the lead in punt return TDs (3) and second (first in NFC) in punt return average (12.8)… Also led NFC in kick return average (fifth in the NFL) at 26.4 on 20 returns for 528 yards while tying for league lead with 2 kickoff return TDs… Returned punt 84 yards for a TD in NFL debut at GB (9/10/06) to become first Bears rookie in 51 years to return a punt for a score in his first game (Perry Jeter, vs. BALT, 9/30/56)… Became third player in NFL history to return at least two punts for TDs of 80 or more yards as a rookie… Saw time on defense as a reserve cornerback recording 11 tackles and 1 PBU… Posted a NFL-high 11 punt returns of 20 or more yards, the most in the league since 1997 (Karl Williams, TB, 12)… During Super Bowl XLI (2/4/07) became 8th player in NFL history to return a kickoff for a touchdown in a Super Bowl and first to do so on the game’s opening kick.
COLLEGE: Played offense, defense and special teams for the Miami Hurricanes (2003-05), starting games at cornerback, nickelback, running back and fullback while seeing time at wide receiver and returning punts and kickoffs during his collegiate career in which he returned 6 kicks for TDs (2 kickoffs, 4 punts)… Played primarily as a CB tallying 12 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 INT and 2 PBUs during junior season while seeing some time on offense by the end of the season gaining 70 yards on 8 rushes and catching 3 passes for 15 yards while appearing in 10 games and starting 1 contest… Named to Walter Camp All-America team as NCAA’s best kick returner, selected by The Sporting News as the top kickoff returner and tabbed first-team all-ACC as a kick returner as a sophomore… His 4 TDs off returns were the second-most in the country and tied Santana Moss’ single-season school record, while becoming first Hurricane to return 2 punts for TDs in a game (vs. Louisiana Tech)… As a freshman, played WR and returned kicks ranking 6th nationally in kickoff return average at 28.7 yards per return while adding 116 yards on 4 catches (29.0 avg)… Captured 2004 Big East indoor long jump title as a member of Canes track and field team… Majored in liberal arts.
PERSONAL: Attended Suncoast High School (Riviera Beach, FL) playing football for coach Jimmy Bell… Widely regarded as one of the top recruits in the nation as a senior and was selected a Parade All-American and USA Today first-team AllAmerican… Rated the No. 1 prospect in Florida and No. 6 player in the nation regardless of position by SuperPrep… Tabbed as the top defensive back prospect coming out of high school in Florida by numerous publications and earned first-team all-state honors as a senior… Rushed for 1,014 yards and 12 TDs on 94 carries while gaining 1,028 yards on 38 catches with
9 TDs in addition to throwing 5 TDs and 225 yards during senior season… Also a track standout and received All-America accolades and ranked 2nd nationally in the long jump as a junior… Hester and wife, Zingha, have two sons.
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