Atlanta Falcons: 5 players with something to prove in 2016

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44. . Kick Returner. Miami Hurricanes. Devin Hester. 4. player

For as dynamic of a player Devin Hester was with the Chicago Bears, he certainly wasn’t that for the Atlanta Falcons in 2015. While Hester made his fourth Pro Bowl in his first season in Atlanta the year before in 2014, he suffered a nagging toe injury that limited him to only five regular season games player in 2015.

Hester’s health took away a key part to the Atlanta Falcons’ game in 2015. Atlanta is usually a strong group on special teams, but even though Eric Weems did a fine job replacing Hester on kick returning duties, the Falcons’ third phase lacked the explosiveness it at times needed in 2015.

Because of his massively disappointing 2015 NFL season, Hester could very well end up a cap casualty with one year remaining on his three-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons entering 2016. Hester’s health kept him on the sidelines long enough in 2015 that he simply could not factor into Kyle Shanahan’s offense, not even playing a snap on that side of the ball in 2015.

Devin Hester will get his opportunities to shine in the return game for the Atlanta Falcons, as he is arguably the greatest return to have played in the NFL. He will turn 34 in November and if his health continues to prove problematic in 2016, Atlanta won’t re-sign him in 2017, possibly reaching an injury settlement at some point this fall.

Next: 3. Brooks Reed