The Seahawks are about to replace their injured, 2015 Pro Bowl kick returner with one that’s been to four Pro Bowls -- and holds the NFL record for return touchdowns.
A league source told The News Tribune that the Seahawks are expected to sign Devin Hester on Wednesday to be their kick and punt returner for the playoffs. Those begin Saturday night at CenturyLink Field against Detroit.
“I guess God has another chapter in my book of life #togodbetheglory ,” he tweeted.
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Jay Glazer of Fox Sports first reported the agreement Tuesday night.
The 34-year-old Hester has an NFL-record 19 return scores in his 11-year career, 14 of them on punt returns. He had a crazy 11 touchdowns on returns in his first two seasons in the league, with the Chicago Bears in 2006 and ‘07.
He last made the Pro Bowl in 2014. In 2015 he played in five games for Atlanta. The Falcons released him after offseason surgery on his toe. Baltimore signed him before the start of this 2016 regular season. He played in 12 games for the Ravens and had just two punt returns for more than 20 yards. He had five fumbles and lost one, and averaged 7.2 yards per punt return. He averaged averaged 24.5 yards on kickoff returns before he erred in a game at New England Dec. 12.
Instead of fielding a punt he allowed it to bounce and then roll to the Ravens 1-yard line, where the Patriots downed it and subsequently scored a safety.
Baltimore released him the next day. He’s been idle since.
The corresponding move reportedly is undrafted rookie backup safety Tyvis Powell being released to clear roster space for Hester.
Powell had this great story of getting out of Bedford, Ohio, High School to get to the NFL with Seattle this spring. He went back to Bedford this fall during the Seahawks’ bye week and was honored by his hometown.
Lockett broke his tibia and fibula on a gruesome play catching a pass from Russell Wilson near the goal line against Arizona on Christmas Eve. After he went on season-ending injured reserve last week, the Seahawks used All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman to make four fair catches and return one punt down the sideline for 6 yards last weekend at San Francisco. J.D. McKissic, claimed off waivers last month from Atlanta, had one kickoff return for 22 yards against the 49ers and No. 3 wide receiver Paul Richardson had one misguided kickoff return for 10 yards.
Coach Pete Carroll was vague and hesitant Tuesday afternoon in saying the plan was for Sherman and McKissic to again return punts and kickoffs in the wild-card playoff game against the Lions Saturday.
Now Seattle’s apparently going with an accomplished-though-recently-mothballed return ace as a rental for this postseason.