LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Chicago Bears return specialist Devin Hester spent a portion of Wednesday’s practice going through individual drills with members of the secondary, and even received one-on-one instruction from defensive backs coach Jon Hoke at the conclusion of the workout.
But does this mean Hester, a former collegiate and NFL cornerback, is a candidate to line up on the defensive side of the ball Sunday in St. Louis?
“He’ll jump into (the drills) from time to time and get a little work in,” Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said. “But there is really no news there. I’m not in the conversation business.”
Hester started games at cornerback and nickel back in college at the University of Miami and was a reserve cornerback for the Bears in 2006. Hester saw limited time on defense but did record 11 tackles and one pass break-up.
“We try to keep Devin as busy as we can throughout the course of practice,” Bears head coach Marc Trestman said. “But you never know. You never know. We certainly want to keep him doing what he’s been doing. But he does have value, certainly, doing other things. And who knows. Nothing’s out of the question. It’s not something we’ve spent a lot of time talking about.”
With Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Tillman on injured reserve and starting nickel back Isaiah Frey dealing with a fractured hand, perhaps Hester is an emergency option in the event the team suffers another injury at cornerback, or if Frey’s hand becomes an issue during the game. Tim Jennings is the logical candidate to bump inside and play the complicated nickel back position if Frey is unable to go. But given Hester’s experience, there is a remote possibly that he could be asked to step in at cornerback and play zone coverage. However, the Bears do currently have two reserve cornerbacks on the active 53-man roster: Sherrick McManis and Derrick Martin.