Saturday night was a turn-back-the-clock performance by Seattle Seahawks kick returner Devin Hester, but according to the legendary return man, it was also likely his last game.
After the Seahawks fell 36-20 to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, Hester seemed to hint that his playing days were done, and the former Chicago Bears star seemed pretty bummed out following the defeat.
“I told my wife this is pretty much my last year,” he told reporters. “The only thing that I left out of this game is walking away without getting a ring. It’s tough.”
Hester made it to the Super Bowl with the Bears in his rookie season of 2006, but he never got closer than that to winning an elusive championship.
In eight seasons with the Bears, Hester had 13 punt return touchdowns and five kick return touchdowns, and his 19 career return touchdowns gave him the NFL record in that category.
After signing with the Seahawks following his release from the Baltimore Ravens, Hester seemed to find his groove again on Saturday, racking up 194 yards worth of kick returns and he had another long one called back because of a holding penalty.
Despite his best efforts, the Seahawks were dispatched from the playoffs by the Falcons, who will play the winner of Sunday’s game between the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys in the NFC title game.
If this is indeed the end of the road for Hester, he’ll be ending a career that many fans and experts alike think should result in his enshrinement in Canton in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
It will be interesting to see whether or not the Bears give him an opportunity to come back and retire with the organization like they did with cornerback Charles Tillman.