LaMichael James Injury: Updates on 49ers RB's Knee, Potential Return Date
According to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, the running back suffered a sprained MCL in Thursday's preseason game against the Chargers:
RB-PR LaMichael James has a sprained MCL. Prognosis unclear at this point. Kyle Williams is the backup PR; Quinton Patton backup KR?— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) August 30, 2013
This injury will especially hurt the 49ers on special teams, where James was expected to be the starting kickoff and punt returner. The speedster from Oregon ended the last season as the team's primary option on kickoffs and finished with 417 yards on 14 returns.
Additionally, the running back had an increased role on offense in the final four games of the 2012 season once Kendall Hunter went down with an injury. He rushed for 125 yards on 27 carries for an average of 4.6 yards per carry.
He also added 65 yards and a touchdown in three postseason games.
However, his touches were certain to remain low this season as the third-string running back on the depth chart behind Frank Gore and Hunter. Anthony Dixon could end up getting a few more carries due to the injury.
As for special teams, Kyle Williams will likely rotate with Perrish Cox and Chad Hall in returning punts after each player received some work at the spot in the preseason. Rookie receiver Quinton Patton and Lavelle Hawkins have been working on kickoff returns.
Despite the depth on the roster, San Francisco will no doubt hope to get the young player healthy as soon as possible.
Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?