RENTON, Wash. -- With outside linebackers Malcolm Smith and Korey Toomer returning to practice Monday after being out for all of training camp, the Seattle Seahawks will have some difficult roster decisions coming soon at the position.
"It's good to get those guys back out there," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "They've been dying to get back on the practice field. They did fine [Monday] with about half the practice that they worked. [Tuesday] they will try to do a little bit more and we'll work them through the week and see what happens."
Toomer has been out with a hamstring injury. Smith had offseason ankle surgery, so Monday was his first day on the field since the Super Bowl when he was the game's most valuable player.
"Malcolm has great versatility and we totally trust him," Carroll said. "He's been with us forever. He's a real fixture in our defense. We love his flexibility and he's such a great playmaker."
• Carroll also said outside linebacker Bruce Irvin could return next week after undergoing offseason hip surgery.
"He's doing great," Carroll said of Irvin. "He was running and changing direction today for the first time. He really feels confident and he says he doesn't feel any [pain] at all. He may get some work next week, but for sure we'll get him work after the Raiders game [Aug. 28]. He's really encouraged."
• Carroll said he expects starting middle linebacker Bobby Wagner to return next week from his hamstring injury. Even without Irvin and Wagner, the Seahawks now have six outside linebackers in practice and two middle linebackers.
"It's a really good group," Carroll said. "It's been thin throughout the camp, but Mike Morgan and K.J. [Wright] and Brock [Coyle] have really held it together for us. Now we get faster and more experienced real quick."
• Wide receiver Bryan Walters didn't practice Monday.
"He got a little banged up in the game and got some bumps and bruises," Carroll said, "so we thought he needed to rest up a bit."
Carroll was pleased with what he saw from Walters on punt returns in Friday's game with two returns for 33 yards, including one that was 22 yards.
"He was awesome," Carroll said. "Everybody was fired up about what he brought and him making things happen. You can tell he's returned a lot of kicks in his career. He looked really comfortable back there."
• Defensive end O'Brien Schofield, who had a sack, a tackle for loss and four quarterback hits Friday, had the day off Monday.
• In an interview with 710 ESPN Seattle Monday morning, Carroll said he expects offensive tackle Russell Okung, center Max Unger and strong safety Kam Chancellor to play for the first time this preseason Friday night against the Chicago Bears at CenturyLink Field.