The Bears might be without one of their biggest weapons for Sunday’s big game with the Lions.
Devin Hester is listed as
doubtful questionable on the team’s injury report with the ankle injury he suffered against the Eagles on Monday night. Hester hasn’t been able to practice all week, which could leave the Bears without a player who can turn a game around in a heartbeat thanks to his abilities as a returner. Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that coach Lovie Smith is “hopeful” about Hester playing but realistic about needing to have a backup plan at the ready.
“We’re confident,” Smith said. “You’re right — there’s only one Devin Hester. No one has anyone like him. So 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 NFL games. So we should be OK.”
Johnny Knox has returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the past and he also took a punt to the house earlier this season when the Bears drew up a wonderful bit of trickery that wound up being called back because of a penalty. Still, the biggest takeaway from Smith’s comments is that there is only one Hester and his absence wouldn’t be something easily overcome.
The Bears did have some good injury news to report on Friday. Defensive end Julius Peppers returned to practice and is expected to play against the Lions.
UPDATE: Earlier reports indicated Hester was doubtful for Sunday’s game. The Bears officially list him as questionable.