NFC Notes: Hester, Hawley, Graham

Falcons returner Devin Hester was activated from the IR-DTR yesterday, and the 33-year-old is set to return to the field for the first time this season. After having dealt with a turf-toe injury for the past three months, Hester acknowledged how good it feels to be back.

“It was a long process of rehabbing,” he told D. Orlando Ledbetter of “It’s was hard work getting up every morning and going in for treatment. If feels great to back in the locker room, in the huddle and out of the field with the teammates that I have.”

While Hester is generally regarded as the best returner of all time, veteran Eric Weems has filled in admirably this season. The 30-year-old has returned 15 kicks for 403 yards, and he’s fielded another 19 punts for 221 yards.

Let’s check out some other assorted notes from around the NFC…

  • Joe Hawley‘s two-year contract with the Buccaneers called for four $250K bonuses based on playing time,’s Greg Auman passes along. Considering he’s already played 94-percent of the team’s snaps in 2015, the 27-year-old is in good position to practically double his $1.25MM salary.
  • Hawley was released by the Falcons days before the season opener. Despite returning from a torn ACL, Buccaneerss offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter knew the veteran could help his offensive line. “When Joe became available, I went to Coach (Lovie Smith) and went to Jason (Licht, general manager), and said, ‘Look, we have a chance to get this guy,’ “ Koetter told Auman. ” ‘He may not be quite healthy yet, but he is going to get better.’ I know what kind of player Joe is.”
  • Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said surgery on Jimmy Graham‘s torn patellar tendon went as planned. ““[E]verything, as the doctors would report, it went really well,” he said on Friday (via Mike Florio of “He was uncomfortable, I know, the next couple of days. He was fighting through it to get back, started getting back. Looking forward to his return and his spirits are looking ahead and all that. It was a difficult surgery for him.” 
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