Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Devin Hester (17) runs from Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during 36-yard touchdown reception in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)
Ann Heisenfelt
October 03, 2014
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Devin Hester (17) runs from Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during 36-yard touchdown reception in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)
Ann Heisenfelt

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Looking for their third consecutive win, the New York Giants are concerned about trying to stop Devin Hester when the Atlanta Falcons visit this weekend.

Hester, a three-time Pro Bowler, has returned more punts and kicks for touchdowns than any other player in league history. He broke Deion Sanders' record for return TDs with a 62-yard punt return against Tampa Bay on Sept. 18 for the 20th such score of his career.

Hester has been nursing an ankle injury and was upgraded Friday to probable for Sunday's game at MetLife Stadium.

If Hester takes the field, the Giants have to be prepared for his ability to break the big one, much like the way Ted Ginn, Jr. of the Arizona Cardinals turned around their game with the Giants three weeks ago with a long punt return for a score.

''He's been a tremendous weapon in this league for years and years,'' Giants coach Tom Coughlin said of Hester after Friday's practice session. ''He certainly attracts a lot of attention. A lot of our preparation goes towards him.''

Giants cornerback Zach Bowman played with Hester for six seasons in Chicago, so he's well aware of his abilities. Now, as the Giants' gunner on punt returns, it will be Bowman's job to stop his good friend.

''It's always a challenge with Dev,'' Bowman said. ''He's one of the most dangerous players and he's the best ever in the league now. With Dev, one of the things you don't want to do is give him an opportunity to get going. I've seen him make so many unbelievable plays in my life. Heck, he's still doing them.''

Bowman had some advice for his teammates.

''One of the things I tell them is to not be hesitant,'' Bowman said. ''You have to play fast and think fast. You do what you have to do and then you can be able to stop him. But most definitely, he's a game changer and a show stopper.''

Bowman said he was looking forward to going up against Hester after being teammates and friends for so long.

''I called him on the phone the other day and told him I was coming after him,'' Bowman said. ''I look forward to competing against him.''

Zach DeOssie is the Giants' long snapper and usually the first one down to the receiver on punt returns. He has faced Hester before on five different occasions.

''Devin demands all the respect in the world and he deserves it, because he's the greatest of all time,'' DeOssie said. ''I've played against him a few times and it's definitely a challenge. I think Steve (Weatherford, the Giants' punter) will do a good job with his directional punts and we're going to give him a battle. I think every team now has a dangerous punt returner, but he's the one who started it all. It's always a nice challenge facing him.''

Giants special teams coordinator Tom Quinn was asked about defending Hester and whether it's best to just not kick the ball to him.

''You try, but all 11 guys have to do their job,'' Quinn said. ''We have to punt it where we want to with the hang time and location and the distance. And we have to cover the distance and everyone has to be in the right spot. He's still dynamic as a kick returner and a punt returner, so it's a challenge.''

NOTES: The Giants are still listing LB Jon Beason (foot, toe) and WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (hamstring) as questionable for Sunday's game. Coughlin said Beason's status ''will be a Sunday morning decision,'' and Beckham's status was unknown, although the rookie said that he expected to play. ''He's practiced on a limited basis for three days now,'' Coughlin said of Beckham. ''If the medical people are on board and the young man wants to play, we'll put it all together and see what happens.''

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