The New England Patriots continued their search for a punt returner Thursday by bringing in Devin Hester for a tryout, a source told NFL Media’s Courtney Fallon. NESN.com confirmed the report.
There’s “no word on whether” the Patriots will sign Hester, according to Fallon. There’s “nothing looming” between the Patriots and Hester, CSNNE.com’s Tom E. Curran reported as he confirmed Fallon’s report.
Hester, 34, was released by the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday after struggling on returns against the Patriots on Monday in New England’s 30-23 win.
Hester was a prolific return specialist over the last decade, making the Pro Bowl in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2014. He was named to the All-Pro team in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011 and was a member of the 2000s All-Decade Team. He holds NFL records for total return touchdowns, punt return touchdowns and total return touchdowns in a season.
Hester has 315 career punt returns for 3,695 yards with 14 touchdowns and 295 career kick returns for 7,333 yards with five touchdowns. He has 25 punt returns for 180 yards and 19 kick returns for 466 yards this season in 12 games with the Ravens.
Hester also has 255 career catches for 3,311 yards with 16 touchdowns and 36 career carries for 116 yards with one touchdown.
The Patriots could use help at punt and kick returner since rookie cornerback Cyrus Jones has struggled with both roles this season and Danny Amendola is nursing a high ankle sprain. The Patriots signed wide receiver/punt returner Griff Whalen last week.
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