Hester back to defense? Trestman: 'You never know'

Devin Hester was back with the Chicago Bears’ defensive backs Wednesday, partaking at least in individual drills during the portion of the team’s practice that was open to the media.

Coach Marc Trestman’s initial explanation?

“We try to keep Devin as busy as we can during the course of practice,” he said.

But is there more to it for Hester, who has been a return specialist and a return specialist only this year? Perhaps.

Rookie Isaiah Frey, the team’s slot cornerback in nickel situations, was held out of Wednesday’s practice with a cast on his hand. Frey told the Tribune he had suffered a bone bruise during Sunday’s 23-20 overtime win over the Ravens at Soldier Field. Trestman said Frey’s injury was a fracture in his hand that could be casted and put him in position to play Sunday against the Rams.

“We’ll know more tomorrow,” Trestman said. “But we’re really optimistic he’ll be out there.”

But what if Frey were unable to go? Trestman was uncharacteristically vague and evasive at first on how the secondary would be reshuffled in that scenario. It’s worth noting that when Frey became the top nickelback after a preseason injury to Kelvin Hayden, Demontre Hurst was the No. 2 in that position. Rookie cornerback C.J. Wilson is also in the mix. Currently, however, both Hurst and Wilson are on the Bears’ practice squd.

“There’s some movement that has to go on,” Trestman said. “But I’m optimistic that he’ll be playing. I don’t think it’s necessary to go through all the different logistics if that doesn’t happen. It’s certainly been discussed. But I feel optimistic that he’ll be playing.”

Coincidentally – or perhaps not – Hester was back working with the defensive backs for parts of Wednesday’s practice. Remember, while he’s been a return man this season after six seasons also performing double duty as a receiver, Hester was drafted out of the University of Miami in 2006 as a cornerback.

It certainly seems as if the Bears are creating an emergency plan if Frey is out with Hester figuring into those discussions. Even if it is a long shot ... a real long shot.

As Hester said Wednesday after practice, “They brought in corners that are backups. I’m not a corner. I’m just doing something to keep busy and help out.”

“You never know. You never know,” Trestman said. “We certainly want to keep him doing what he’s been doing. But he does have the ability certainly to do other things. Who knows? Nothing is out of the question. But it’s not something we spend a lot of time talking about.”

Also worth noting: the Bears will need to find some answers in their secondary for Rams receiver Tavon Austin, a rookie whose speed and ability to change directions could be a headache.

Bookmark and Share
blog comments powered by Disqus