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updated: 11/22/2013 6:26 PM

Hester enjoying his return to DB school

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  • John Starks/  Chicago Bears wide receiver Devin Hester runs off the file Thursday after the last preseason game at Soldier Field in Chicago.

      John Starks/ Chicago Bears wide receiver Devin Hester runs off the file Thursday after the last preseason game at Soldier Field in Chicago.


Devin Hester practiced all week with the defensive backs -- at least during the few minutes of practice that are open to the media.

So, in a slow news week, that means Hester gets grilled about a possible switch back to cornerback, where he played as a backup his rookie season after the Bears drafted him in the second round in 2006.

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"Yeah, defensive back and some quarterback," Hester joked. "I'm playing everything, so St. Louis, you better be ready."

With Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Tillman out with a triceps tear and nickel corner Isaiah Frey expected to play with a cast on his fractured hand, Hester was asked if he could cover the Rams' lightning-quick rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin.

"I can cover anybody," Hester said, kidding. "Just put a safety over the top, and I'll shut anybody down. I need a safety over the top; I'm a cover-2 man."

In one of his last games at cornerback, in December of his rookie season at the Edward Jones Dome, Hester got burned for a TD by Rams great Torry Holt in a goal line situation.

"The first series he scored on me," Hester recalled. "I said, 'OK, this is what cornerback in the NFL is like.' But on the next play I ran the kickoff back (for a touchdown), so it was even."

Later in the game Hester returned another kickoff for a touchdown in the Bears' 42-27 victory. The next season he was switched to wide receiver, where he played six seasons before becoming strictly a return specialist this year.

Hester said he spent practice time with the DBs this week just to keep himself involved and engaged.

"I'm just sitting out there watching," he said. "I might as well join. I don't get as many reps as the normal guys in practice; I'm more of a specialist now, so to keep myself busy and to keep practice fun, I jump in."

Seriously, Hester says he could jump in as an extra defender in a game situation in an emergency.

"If push came to shove," he said, "fourth quarter, two minutes left in the game, we need it, just any kind of coverage, I'd do it."

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