Devin Hester Ties NFL Record with 19th Career Return TD

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 06:  Devin Hester #23 of the Chicago Bears returns a punt against the New Orleans Saints at Soldier Field on October 6, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Saints defeated the Bears 26-18.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Chicago Bears return specialist Devin Hester scored his 19th career return touchdown in the first half of his team's Week 7 game against the Washington Redskins, tying the NFL record.

The dramatic moment came with under seven minutes to play in the second quarter. Hester fielded a Sav Rocca punt inside his own 20-yard line before taking it 81 yards to the house for his 19th return touchdown since the start of 2006, per The Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs on Twitter:

The game-tying touchdown was Hester's first since 2011, when he scored three total return touchdowns.

After having surrendered 14 unanswered points to Washington and watched starting quarterback Jay Cutler limp to the locker room, per NBC Sports on Twitter, Chicago was in desperate need of a big play to turn the tide. Though it remains to be seen whether Hester's return to form will spark the Bears to their fifth win of 2013, the electrifying return is sure to go down as one of the top plays this season.   

A second-round draft pick out of Miami (FL) back in 2006, Hester quickly made a name for himself as a dynamic return man, scoring six times on special teams as a rookie and then half a dozen more times in 2007. Following a scoreless drought in 2008 and 2009, Hester exploded with three punt return touchdowns in 2010.

Thirteen of Hester's 19 return touchdowns have come on punt returns while five have come on kickoff returns. His only other return touchdown came on a missed field goal during his rookie season.

With Cutler's return uncertain, the Bears would love to see more contributions like this from one of their most dangerous and unique weapons.

 

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