Seahawks tight end Luke Willson likes the new responsibility the team has given him, playing a little fullback.

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Despite his reputation entering the NFL as a “receiving’’ tight end, based in part on a 40-yard dash time that made him one of the fastest players at that position in the 2013 draft, Luke Willson says he has always considered himself “a combo guy.’’

That means being able to play both on the line with blocking as a primary responsibility and standing up as essentially another receiver.

Sunday, though, he was pretty much his own little trio, adding fullback to his list of responsibilities.

With the Seahawks having released Will Tukuafu last week, the team had no official fullback for Sunday’s 37-18 win against the 49ers. But Willson essentially served as one for a handful of plays, lining up in the backfield and helping lead Christine Michael and Alex Collins through holes.

He did so usually lining up offset — meaning, not directly in front of the tailback as a fullback traditionally might. But his role provided the same effect and coaches credited it with helping the Seahawks to a season-best offensive performance.

“It’s a really good role for him and it makes us a little versatile in that substitution,’’ said head coach Pete Carroll. “That’s a good positive thing for us.’’

Indeed, the Seahawks appear content for now to go without a true fullback, instead using Willson — and once he returns from a sprained ankle, rookie Nick Vannett — in roles that give the team the same sort of blocking production.

Willson noted that teams in the past might see the Seahawks with two tight ends and go with their nickel packages, assuming it means the team won’t have two running backs in the backfield. But using tight ends as fullbacks he says could make it harder for defenses to figure out how to match up.

“I think it really gives us a lot of different looks cause you don’t know if we are playing or normal two-tight end stuff or is it a base down set for us like with a fullback,’’ Willson said. “I’m not a defensive coordinator. But I think some teams would like to play nickel to our (two-tight end sets) and that kind of eliminates that possibility.’’

That, in turn, means more chances for the Seahawks to get tight ends matched up on linebackers in pass coverage.

Offensive line coach Tom Cable said those options should only increase with the expected return this week of Vannett, a third-round pick from Ohio State, who some think might be the best of blocker of all of Seattle’s tight ends.

“Well I think the really exciting thing for us going forward is Nick Vannett when he’s ready,’’ Cable said. “I think it gives you another personnel group. Another guy that can block and catch. They’re hard matchups with he, Jimmy (Graham) and Luke [Willson] on the field. A guy like Tyler (Lockett) and a guy like Doug (Baldwin). I just think there are multiple formations to get into now.”

Carroll likewise hinted that Vannett could be used in a similar way once he returns.

Willson, though, is more-than-willing to continue to dabble in fullback roles, as well.

He said the team approached him about it last Wednesday — the day it was revealed that Tukuafu had been released — and he said he was all for it.

Willson ended up playing 48 of 70 snaps, throwing a key block on Christine Michael’s second touchdown of the first quarter, a 4-yard run that made it 14-0, the kind of play that stated his value more clearly than his stat line, which showed two catches for nine yards.

“He went out and played a really nice football game first time out,’’ Carroll said. “He’s going to really have a chance to get a lot better, too.”

The rookie contract for Willson — who was taken in the fifth round in 2013 — is up at the end of the year, and he knows the ability to excel at a variety of roles makes a player only more valuable.

“I know that there was that because I had a pretty good 40 time (4.46 at his Rice’s Pro Day) that I was just going to come in here and run around,’’ he said. “But I don’t think that’s been the case for a long time now. So that’s been something that I have prided myself on is being a tight end that can really do both — stretch the seam but also put his hand in the ground and I’ve been able to do that. This is kind of another thing they asked me to do and hopefully I can keep running with this, too.’’