How many kickers, punters and returners are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Devin Hester will join a select group of special teams players in the Hall of Fame

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Devin Hester is finally getting his gold jacket.

The longtime Chicago Bear made NFL history by becoming the first return specialist to be selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Hester joins a loaded Class of 2024 that includes two other former Bears in Steve McMichael and Julius Peppers, as well as Patrick Willis, Andre Johnson, Dwight Freeney and Randy Gradishar.

Hester’s inclusion is made extra special given how few special teams players are enshrined in Canton, Ohio. Between kickers, punters and returners, only a handful of special teamers are among the Hall of Fame’s soon-to-be 378 members.

Let’s take a look at the specialists who have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

How many kickers are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Jan Stenerud and Morten Andersen are the only full-time kickers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Stenerud got his call to the Hall in 1991 after playing 19 NFL seasons from 1966 to 1985: 13 with the Kansas City Chiefs, four with the Green Bay Packers and two with the Minnesota Vikings. He made 373 field goals (20th all-time) at a 66.8% rate while tacking on 580 extra points (17th all-time). His resume includes six Pro Bowl selections, an All-Pro selection, an AFL championship and a Super Bowl IV title with the Chiefs.

Andersen played an NFL-record 382 games across his 25-year NFL career. He and George Blanda (26) are the only players to get to a 25th season.

Andersen spent 13 seasons with the New Orleans Saints, eight with the Atlanta Falcons, two with the Chiefs, one with the New York Giants and one with the Vikings. His 565 made field goals and 709 field goal attempts (79.7%) rank second all-time behind Adam Vinatieri, and 849 his 859 extra point attempts rank third all-time behind Vinatieri and Blanda.

For his career, Anderson had seven Pro Bowl selections and three All-Pro selections. He was named a member of both the Hall of Fame’s All-1980s Team and All-1990s Team.

Blanda and Lou Groza are two additional Hall of Famers who kicked during their careers.

Blanda kicked while quarterbacking across his 26 NFL seasons in Chicago, Oakland, Houston and Baltimore. He ranks first in extra points made (943) and 27th in field goals made (335) while earning four Pro Bowl selections, an All-Pro selection, three AFL Championships and more individual awards.

Groza spent his entire 21-year NFL career from 1946 to 1967 with the Cleveland Browns. He was an offensive tackle first but changed the game as a kicker, forcing the Browns to consider field goals instead of touchdowns with his kicking abilities. He made 264 field goals and 810 extra points in his career to go with nine Pro Bowls, four All-Pro teams and four NFL titles.

Vinatieri, who last played in the 2019 season and officially retired in 2021, will be among the first-year eligible candidates for the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2025. The former New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts kicker ranks first all-time in made field goals (599) and second in made extra points (874). He also drilled two game-winning kicks in the Super Bowl with the Patriots.

How many punters are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Ray Guy is the only full-time punter in the Hall of Fame.

He spent his entire career with the Oakland Raiders from 1973 to 1986, reaching seven Pro Bowls and three All-Pro first teams to go along with three Super Bowl titles. He was the first punter to ever be selected in the first round of the NFL draft, as Oakland took him 23rd overall in 1973.

Among the 250 players with the most career punts, nine are immortalized in Canton: Guy, Norm Van Brocklin, Yale Lary, Tom Landry, Sammy Baugh, Bob Waterfield, Sid Luckman, Charley Trippi and Bill Dudley. Outside of Guy, the rest of the group had other playing or coaching accolades that helped build their Hall of Fame cases.

How many returners are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Hester will be the first return specialist in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but there are plenty of other Hall of Famers who were all-time returners.

Ollie Matson and Gale Sayers each had six kick return touchdowns, more than Hester’s five. Bobby Mitchell (five), Deion Sanders (three), Steve Van Buren (three), Herb Adderley (two), George McAfee (two), Mel Renfro (two) and Rod Woodson (two) are other Hall of Famers with multiple punt return touchdowns in their career.

Nobody comes close to Hester’s 14 punt return touchdowns. Still, Jack Christiansen (eight), Sanders (six), Emlen Tunnell (five), Tim Brown (three), Dudley (three), Bob Hayes (three), Leroy Kelly (three), Leary (three), Matson (three) and Mitchell (three) are all Hall of Famers with at least three punt return TDs.

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