Home » Blog » LaMichael James to Miss 3-4 Weeks

LaMichael James to Miss 3-4 Weeks


It’s a good thing the San Francisco 49ers are stacked at the running back position, because their stockpile of offensive weapons will be a tad bit lighter over the next few weeks.

According to The Sacramento Bee, via ESPN.com, second-year backup and former Oregon Ducks star LaMichael James will miss 3-4 weeks after suffering a sprained MCL in his left knee during San Fran’s 41-6 win over the San Diego Chargers in the team’s final preseason game on Thursday night.

While many will consider James’ upcoming absence as fairly insignificant due to his role as a backup, the Niners offense will be limited nonetheless. Although he didn’t get many carries early last season, James served as an important and effective counter-punch to starter Frank Gore. With his smaller frame and shiftier movements, James gave opposing defenses an entirely different look compared to Gore’s bruising,, powerful running style.

James emerged as the number-two back last season following Kendall Hunter’s Achilles tendon tear, but with Hunter back healthy and with James now ailing, it seems clear that Hunter will step back into the second-string role behind Gore, at least to begin the 2013 regular season.

Hunter is certainly as capable a runner as James is, but one thing missing will be James’ production on special teams. James is one of the team’s main punt returners and had been getting the majority of punt return reps during training camp and the preseason, so for the next few weeks, the team will have to look elsewhere.

The dynamic James will be sorely missed by the Niners, especially with the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks coming up on their schedule. Will his injury be enough to impact San Fran’s win and loss column though? Maybe not, but it will certainly affect betting the spread for San Francisco in games that should already be tight.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on the preseason favorite San Fran, and see if it can live up to high expectations. And if you’re betting the NFL, you’ll be keeping a close eye on the Niners as well. Just make sure you take James’ injury into account in the coming weeks.

  • 100%