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Packers can't dodge Devin Hester

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- For four years, Julius Peppers would do the same thing every time the Chicago Bears would force an opponent to punt.

"It was an event when they got ready to punt the ball; you got up and you went to the sideline to look," said Peppers, who played for the Bears from 2010-13 before he signed with the Green Bay Packers this offseason. "You wanted to see what was going to happen."

Peppers will probably do the same thing Monday night when the Atlanta Falcons come to Lambeau Field, but this time he'll be holding his breath that his former teammate, Devin Hester, doesn't post his 15th career punt return for a touchdown.

Both left Chicago following last season after the Bears let them walk. Hester signed with the Falcons nine days after Peppers joined the Packers.

"He's happy down there," Peppers said. "He's found a new life."

In Hester's third game with the Falcons, he returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to set an NFL record with the 20th touchdown return of his career. It was his 14th punt return for a touchdown. He also has five kickoff returns and one field goal return for touchdowns.

He has two punt returns for touchdowns against the Packers, including the very first one of his career -- an 84-yarder on Sept. 10, 2006, at Lambeau Field. The other was a 62-yarder on Sept. 27, 2010, at Soldier Field. The Packers lost both games.

"I was looking forward to not having to play him when he left Chicago," Packers special-teams coordinator Shawn Slocum said. "And he were go."

And from what Slocum has seen, little has changed in the 32-year-old Hester.

"You can look at his production; he’s had big plays, [and] they're leading the league in punt returns," Slocum said. "I think that says it all. This will be game No. 18 for myself facing him and same thing with [veteran special-teamer] Jarrett Bush."

Not that Slocum is counting or anything.

"I don't [count], but a guy as good as Devin's been, I'm well aware of when we have to face him," said Slocum, who rattled off the eight seasons of twice-a-year regular-season games against Hester and the Bears plus the 2010 NFC Championship Game.

However, this is game No. 17 against Hester because he actually missed one of those -- the 2009 meeting in Chicago -- because of a calf injury.

The Packers have not allowed a punt return for a touchdown since Sept. 8, 2011, when Darren Sproles brought one back 72 yards while playing for the Saints, but this could be Hester's last shot at the Packers.

"It's going to be great to see him," Peppers said. "Hopefully he doesn't return one on us."