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Malcolm Smith, Korey Toomer return to practice - Aug. 19, 2014

 

Outside linebacker Malcolm Smith #53 of the Seattle Seahawks runs 69-yards for a touchdown after intercepting a pass intended for running back Knowshon Moreno #27 of the Denver Broncos in the second quarter during Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

by Curtis Crabtree
KJR reporter
Twitter: @Curtis_Crabtree

RENTON - The Seattle Seahawks have been without four linebackers for the majority of training camp.

Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith and Korey Toomer took to the practice field Monday for the first time since the start of training camp in July. Smith had offseason ankle surgery while Toomer was on the physically unable to perform list due to an injured hamstring.

"They’ve been dying to get on the practice field and they did fine today," head coach Pete Carroll said. "They got through this part of the week, about half the practice is what they worked today and tomorrow they’ll try to take a little bit more and we’ll work them through the week and see what happens."

After being limited in their first day of work, the pair took on a greater workload on Tuesday with Smith making the play of the day.

Malcolm Smith tracked the eyes of quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and leapt into the air, snagging the football with one hand for an interception before racing 60 yards in the opposite direction for a touchdown.

Safety Earl Thomas, linebacker K.J. Wright and other members of Seattle's defense chased Smith to the endzone shouting "MVP! MVP!" as he galloped untouched in the opposite direction.

"That was a terrific play by him," defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said. "It's awesome to have him back out here."

NFL increases practice squad size to 10 players:

The NFL announced Tuesday they are increasing the size of the practice squad from eight to 10 players for the next two seasons.

 

Previously, teams could form an eight-man practice squad on the day after final roster cuts. Now they will be able to keep an additional two players that bring differences in eligibility compared to other practice squad candidates.

The most important change is that teams can sign a maximum of two players to the practice squad that can have up to two accrued seasons of NFL service time.

In the past, any player will an accrued season would become ineligible for the practice squad, except for some varying circumstances.

Instead, teams can keep players with more playing experience on their roster than previously possible. For example, receiver Phil Bates would have been ineligible for the practice squad before these changes after spending the last two seasons on the practice squad. Now it seems he once again could be a viable practice squad candidate.

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