For the second straight year, Bears return man Devin Hester has made it as a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Hester was also a finalist last year and the 15 finalists will be named in January from the list of 28 semifinalists released by the hall on Tuesday.
The Hall of Fame Class for 2023 will be announced Feb. 9 during the "NFL Honors" telecast before Super Bowl LVII. Enshrinement will be in August.
Hester is trying to buck the odds as a return specialist/special teams player who makes the Hall of Fame. However, he's undoubtedly the best all-around return man of all time with 20 return touchdowns on punts, kicks and missed field goals. He also is known for being the first to return the opening kick of the Super Bowl for a touchdown, against the Colts in Super Bowl XLI.
Of his returns, 14 came on punt returns. He spent eight seasons with the Bears and played 11 total seasons after being selected in Round 2 of the 2006 draft from Miami.
Hester made the All-Decade Team for the 2000s, three Pro Bowls and was named special teams player of the week 13 times.
The class is a formidable one and includes players like wide receiver Ronde Barber, wide receiver Torry Holt, linebacker Zach Thomas, defensive end Jared Allen, safety Rodney Harrison, wide receiver Andre Johnson, tackle Joe Thomas, safety Darren Woodson, linebacker James Harrison, wide receiver Reggie Wayne and defensive lineman Vince Wilfork.