Bobby Wagner, Malcolm Smith could return to Seahawks practice next week

AP

The Seattle Seahawks have been severely short-handed at the linebacker position over the first three weeks of training camp.

Seattle has been without starters Bruce Irvin and Bobby Wagner, Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith and reserve linebacker Korey Toomer for nearly all of camp.

Irvin (hip) and Toomer (hamstring) remain on the team’s physically unable to perform list and have yet to practice. Smith has also not participated in practice after offseason ankle surgery while Wagner suffered a pulled hamstring the first week of camp.

However, the entire group is getting closer to being able to return to the field with three of the four possibilities to return to practice next week.

“We’re hopeful that they’ll start practice next week,” head coach Pete Carroll said Thursday.

Even if they are able to return to practice, being able to play in next Friday’s preseason game against the Chicago Bears may still be a bit overly ambitious.

“We will just wait and see (about them playing),” Carroll said. “They’ll have to put together a good week to do that.”

All four players appear to be on track to be healthy by the end of the preseason, though Toomer is no guarantee to make the team’s 53-man roster.