CHICAGO — Bears great Devin Hester has been named a finalist in the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame, the National Football League announced Wednesday.
Hester, who played eight of his 11 seasons with the Bears, was selected as one of 15 finalists for the second consecutive year. Called the “most prolific return specialist” by the Chicago Bears, Hester holds the NFL record for most total non-offensive returns for touchdowns, (20) total kick returns for scores (19), and most punt return scores (14).
Hester is also a four-time Pro Bowler, a three-time first-team All-Pro and was named to the NFL’s 100th-anniversary team.
He is also the first and only player to return an opening Super Bowl kickoff for a touchdown, doing so in a losing effort to the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI.
In December of 2017, Hester, who was drafted in the six found by the Bears, signed a ceremonial one-day contract to retire as a member of the team.
The eight Hall of Fame finalists is announced at the annual NFL Honors award show.