Hester sets record with punt-return average

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Add this to the list of NFL records for Chicago’s Devin Hester — highest punt return average in a season.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Add this to the list of NFL records for Chicago’s Devin Hester — highest punt return average in a season.

The Bears’ speedy return specialist averaged 17.1 yards, the highest in league history among players with at least 30 returns. He also set the career record for combined kick-return touchdowns last month with his 14th, returning to form after struggling the past few years while trying to adapt to a bigger role at wide receiver.

Hester has returned 33 punts for 564 yards and three TDs. His average topped the previous mark of 16.1 set by Jermaine Lewis of Baltimore in 2000.

Hester’s resurgence is a big reason the Bears (11-5) won the NFC North and made the playoffs for the first time in four years.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

(AP Photo/Andy King)

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