The Seahawks needed just one game of problems on short-yardage plays and tailback Thomas Rawls running fullback dives before they decided to bring back Will Tukuafu.
Seattle re-signed their veteran fullback from the past two seasons on Tuesday. They had released him two weeks earlier.
The reason Tukuafu was gone in the first place: a vested veteran, such as the 32-year-old fullback, gets all of his contract guaranteed for that season if he is on a roster for Week 1 of the regular season. By not being on the roster until Week 2, the Seahawks will pay Tukuafu week-to-week on his $760,000 base salary, with the option to release him if need be at no extra cost.
Seattle waived Tani Tupou, the former Washington Huskies defensive lineman the Seahawks had been using as a backup fullback.
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The Seahawks also waived cornerback Tharold Simon and signed defensive back Neiko Thorpe. Thorpe played in 28 games the past two seasons with Oakland. He was an undrafted rookie free agent out of Auburn for Kansas City in 2012.
Simon was Seattle’s fifth-round pick out of LSU in 2013. He spent three-plus seasons either injured or prone to penalties.
The NFL’s official transactions also showed the Seahawks released former UW wide receiver Kasen Williams from their practice squad. Williams lost his roster spot he had over the latter half of last year as an undrafted rookie when a hamstring cost him most of August.
Seattle also released defensive tackle Justin Hamilton and wide receiver Rodney Smith from the practice squad.
The team signed quarterback Jake Heaps, defensive tackle Tylor Harris and offensive tackle Michael Ola to the practice squad.
Heaps was on Seattle’s offseason and training camp roster. His return as the No. 3 quarterback — and not a veteran backup — is further evidence Russell Wilson’s sprained ankle won’t keep him from starting Sunday’s game at Los Angeles.