>>Bears' Hester Wins Weekly Award
(New York, NY) -- Chicago Bears punt/kick returner Devin Hester has been named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. Hester set an NFL record with his 11th punt return for a touchdown in the Bears win against the Carolina Panthers in Week Four. Hester's 69-yard touchdown punt return was his 11th in 182 career punt returns, breaking a tie with Eric Metcalf for the league record. Hester won the award for the 10th time, the most ever by a return specialist. The Bears play at Detroit on "Monday Night Football" in Week Five.
>>Rams' Jackson Addresses Team
(St. Louis, MO) -- The Rams are on a bye, but have still been getting their work in this week as they look to correct mistakes that have led to an 0-and-4 start. Running back Steven Jackson says he's frustrated by the team's start and addressed the team, but did not divulge what was said. Word around the Rams locker room is that teammates responded well to hearing Jackson speak out.
>>Northwestern's Persa To Play Against Michigan
Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa is expected to play against No. 12 Michigan on Saturday.
Coach Pat Fitzgerald says Persa is "great, he's ready to go" after leaving last week's 38-35 loss at Illinois because of soreness in his right foot near the Achilles tendon he ruptured last November. The senior took himself out after a hit in the fourth quarter, spoiling what had been an impressive season debut.
Sidelined the first three games, he threw for a career-high four touchdowns as the Wildcats built an 18-point lead.
While Persa appears ready to go, Fitzgerald said Monday at his weekly news conference that running back Mike Trumpy will miss the rest of the season after being carted off the field with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
>>Wisconsin Coach Likes Big Ten Title Game Despite Risk
Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema still likes the idea of divisional play and a Big Ten championship game, even if those new elements could cost his team a shot at a national title.
Wisconsin is coming off a 48-17 win over Nebraska, though the No. 4 Badgers could face the Huskers again in December depending on how the rest of the Big Ten schedule plays out. Bielema says the boost in national profile from a conference title game offers is worth the risk.
Big Ten teams are just getting used to divisional play, but reality already has set in.
Illinois coach Ron Zook and Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald say divisional play adds urgency to their games this Saturday. Illinois plays Indiana in a Leaders Division game, while Northwestern plays Michigan in a Legends Division matchup.