LaMichael James RB SF 18 Hrs

James (elbow) practiced Wednesday without a non-contact jersey for the first time since injuring his elbow this offseason, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports.

James' status for Sunday's preseason game against the Chargers is still in question, but the original timetable of a month recovery seems to be spot on. It looks like he will be ready by the time the regular season starts, where he will serve as a backup running back and a kick return specialist.

LaMichael James RB SF 8 Days

James (elbow) returned to practice Wednesday, wearing a non-contact uniform and an elbow brace, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports.

James didn't participate fully, spending most of his time at practice returning kicks. Even with the non-contact uniform and elbow brace, it was surprising to see him back so quickly given his estimated month timetable for recovery. Despite his return to practice, there is almost no chance that we see him on the field for Sunday's preseason game against the Broncos.

LaMichael James RB SF 23 Days

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said RB LaMichael James (elbow) is expected to be ready Week 1.

James is expected to miss a month after dislocating his elbow for the third time in his career. With Kendall Hunter also on the shelf, rookie Carlos Hyde has stepped in as the No. 2 back in San Francisco. James will serve as a return man and change of pace option when healthy.

LaMichael James RB SF 25 Days

LaMichael James has now sustained three elbow dislocations in his career.

James suffered one in high school, one at Oregon in 2011 and then one on Sunday at 49ers camp. It's something to file away along with a 4-6 week timetable. If James can get healthy in time for Week 1, he'll be a return man and third tailback behind Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde.

LaMichael James RB SF 25 Days

49ers RB/KR LaMichael James is expected to miss at least a month with a dislocated left elbow.

The once-deep 49ers will probably have to sign a running back after losing James for all of camp and Kendall Hunter to an ACL tear. Jewel Hampton now looks like a decent bet to make the 53 behind Frank Gore and rookie Carlos Hyde. When healthy, James will return as San Francisco's primary kickoff and punt returner, and No. 3 tailback. Marcus Lattimore (hamstring, knee) still can't practice.

LaMichael James RB SF 25 Days

49ers RB/KR LaMichael James was carted off the field during Sunday's practice with an apparent left arm injury.

The injury appeared to be James' wrist or arm, and the extent is unknown. It's another running back blow after San Francisco lost Kendall Hunter to a torn ACL. Frank Gore, Carlos Hyde, and Jewel Hampton are the Niners' only healthy backs. Marcus Lattimore (knee, hamstring) remains on the active/PUP list.

LaMichael James RB SF 27 Days

LaMichael James' roster spot on the 49ers is now "virtually assured" following Kendall Hunter's ACL tear.

James is now the favorite for No. 3 running back duties behind Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde, and will be San Francisco's primary return man. James remains an unappealing re-draft fantasy asset, with little Dynasty league appeal, as well.

LaMichael James RB SF 2 Months

CSN Bay Area believes 49ers RB/KR LaMichael James' roster spot is "looking good."

"James looked very steady fielding punts in the offseason, so his spot is looking much more secure than it appeared a month ago," writes Matt Maiocco. James didn't show up for voluntary workouts in and effort to get traded, but the team has said all along they have no plans to deal him. James doesn't have a future as a running back in San Fran, but he's the frontrunner for return duties.

LaMichael James RB SF 3 Months2 Comments

49ers RB/KR LaMichael James reported to offseason workouts this week.

James had been skipping the voluntary sessions in what was believed to be an effort to force his way out of town. The 49ers failed to trade James on draft day and seem intent on keeping him around for at least the summer. James could be as low as fifth on the running back depth chart but remains in the mix for return duties. We'd expect him to be released at or near final cuts.

LaMichael James RB SF 4 Months

49ers RB/KR LaMichael James remains absent from voluntary workouts.

The sides are mired in stalemate. Both want to move on, but the 49ers have been unable to find a trade partner. If a deal can't be worked out during this week's draft, James should ultimately earn his release.