The Seahawks re-signed fullback Will Tukuafu and signed former Oakland Raiders cornerback Neiko Thorpe Tuesday. Cornerback Tharold Simon and fullback Tani Tupou were waived to make room on the 53-man roster.
The Seahawks also made changes to the practice squad, signing quarterback Jake Heaps, defensive end Tylor Harris, receiver Antwan Goodley and offensive tackle Michael Ola, and releasing defensive tackle Justin Hamilton, receiver Rodney Smith, offensive tackle Takoby Cofield and receiver Kasen Williams.
Tukuafu, 32, appeared in 23 games with the Seahawks over the past two seasons, and last season scored the first two touchdowns of his career, one rushing and one receiving. He re-signed with Seattle last month, then was released prior to the start of the season. The 6-foot-2, 280-pound Tukuafu has also occasionally filled in at defensive tackle and contributed on special teams.
“He’s a very versatile football player, a very unique football player," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said last month after Tukuafu signed. "We have our way of using him that makes him valuable that he can give you some snaps on defense when you need it, but he’s a real hammer when you’re blocking with the fullback position.”
Thorpe, who is 6-foot-2, 198 pounds, appeared in 28 games over the past two seasons for Oakland, starting two last season. He finished the 2015 season with 37 tackles, six passes defensed and one interception. Thorpe, who came into the league as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Auburn, appeared in nine games as a rookie with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012, then spent 2013 with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.
Simon, a fifth-round pick in the 2013 draft, has appeared in 11 games in a Seahawks career that was limited by injuries, starting five during the 2014 season. Tupou signed with Seattle in May as an undrafted rookie free agent, and the University of Washington product played seven snaps at fullback in Sunday’s season opener.
Heaps, a local product who played at Skyline High School, spent training camp and the preseason with Seattle before being waived when the Seahawks set their 53-man roster earlier this month. Heaps was 8 for 19 for 64 yard in the preseason, though there were multiple dropped passes in a 3 for 10 performance in his first preseason game.
The move comes a day after Carroll said the Seahawks would consider adding another quarterback while Russell Wilson recovers from an ankle injury sustained in the season opener. While both Wilson and Carroll have made it clear that the expectation is for Wilson to be OK for Sunday’s game at Los Angeles, Carroll did say Wilson could be limited when practice resumes Wednesday, in which case a third quarterback at practice could prove valuable.