CHICAGO – The first time wasn’t the charm for one of the most electrifying players in the history of the Chicago Bears, but perhaps the second can be for Devin Hester.
The former kick returner will find that out on Thursday night.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023 will be announced on Thursday night at the NFL Honors at Symphony Hall in Phoenix starting at 8 p.m. central time.
Hester is once again up for induction after being named one of the 15 modern-era finalists in January. He was in the same position last year when he first became eligible for the Hall of Fame, but he wasn’t elected as part of the Class of 2022.
Here are the other finalists for induction for the Class of 2023.
- Jared Allen, Defensive end (Played for the Bears 2014-2015)
- Willie Anderson – Offensive tackle
- Ronde Barber – Defensive back
- Dwight Freeney – Defensive end
- Torry Holt – Wide receiver
- Andre Johnson – Wide receiver
- Albert Lewis – Cornerback
- Darrelle Revis – Cornerback
- Joe Thomas – Offensive tackle
- Zach Thomas – Linebacker
- DeMarcus Ware – Linebacker
- Reggie Wayne – Wide receiver
- Patrick Willis – Linebacker
- Darren Woodson – Safety
Selected by the Bears in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft, Hester is the NFL’s all-time leader in return touchdowns with 20. That includes an NFL record 14 punt returns, five kickoff returns, and one field goal return for scores in his career.
Hester also took the opening kickoff of Super Bowl XLI back for a touchdown against the Colts at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on February 4, 2007.
All but one of those return touchdowns came as a member of the Bears from 2006-2013. Hester returned a punt for a score with the Falcons in 2014, one of two seasons he played in Atlanta. He spent 2016 with the Seahawks and Ravens before retiring in December 2017 when he signed a one-day contract with the Bears.