Bears GM Phil Emery on Devin Hester: ‘He’ll compete to be our returner’

INDIANAPOLIS — Devin Hester is back where he started — returning kicks and only returning kicks for the Bears. For now.

‘‘He’ll compete to be our returner,’’ general manager Phil Emery said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. ‘‘What he does beyond that depends on how he performs in that first role as a returner.’’

Hester’s production at wide receiver has diminished in four seasons with Jay Cutler at quarterback — from 57 receptions in 2009 to 40 in 2010 to 26 in 2011 before bottoming out in 2012. He had 23 receptions for 242 yards (10.5 yards per catch) and failed to score on a kickoff return.

‘‘Devin is a very versatile athlete,’’ Emery said. ‘‘We’re looking forward to him working with us in OTAs and see how we come out.’’

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