Dec 29, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back LaMichael James (23) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh: LaMichael James expected to be ready for 49ers by Week 1

The San Francisco 49ers have been having a tough time keeping running backs healthy in training camp this year, and one of the casualties was backup LaMichael James, who recently suffered a dislocated elbow for the third time in his career. Despite the injury and recovery time, however, head coach Jim Harbaugh expects him to be ready to go by the opener.

James’ injury is in addition to fellow backup Kendall Hunter, who is also out. For the time being, rookie Carlos Hyde has stepped up and taken the reins of the no. 2 running back slot, with Frank Gore, of course, leading the charge out of the backfield.

But James returning healthy is crucial for this team going forward, not so much from the backfield, but from a special teams standpoint.

The 49ers have such a wealth of talent for the backfield that he more than likely won’t be used that much from the running back position, but he’ll continue to make his mark returning kicks for the NFC Championship contenders this year.


Tags: Jim Harbaugh LaMichael James NFL San Francisco 49ers

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