Devin Hester looked ready to break the NFL record for combined return TDs Sunday, but was tripped up by Lions punter Nick Harris. The league decided to take action after yet another near-perfect Hester return ended by a shoelace tackle by the opposing kicker or punter.
“We called Devin after the game to let him know he’s allowed to juke punters and kickers just like he does against every other player in the league,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “Apparently he thought he’s required to take it easy on those guys.”
Hester told Goodell he thought he couldn’t use his speed and elusiveness on punters because of the league’s crackdown on abusive behavior toward vulnerable players.
“I hear all about fines against guys for hits on quarterbacks, and I’m sure punters and kickers could get hurt trying to tackle me,” said Hester after his team’s 24-20 win in Detroit. “I don’t want no fines so I just let those little guys trip me up whenever I see one.”
Hester said now that he knows it’s okay to use his moves on punters and kickers he expects to average at least one return TD each game.