49ers running back LaMichael James has spent his entire rookie season on the team's inactive list, a marked change from his three post-red shirt years in the Oregon offense. James chatted with the media before practice and struck a very professional tone.
James did liken it to his redshirt freshman year, which for James and Jenkins seems like a fairly apt analogy. The 49ers don't have to worry about losing years of eligibility, although you could make the argument that they are losing years in the sense that the players are not playing and losing a year off their contract. At the same time, James did make a good point about needing to learn more about the NFL game:
I don't know the game fully like Frank or anybody who's been here. I'm still learning. I think that's key for me - to learn
I think I can play with anybody out there - I really do believe that - but at the same time I do need to learn. I think that's big. Learn the NFL game - I think that's a huge step for me. I need to get that down pat first before I go out there and try to make a fool of myself.
Barring multiple injuries, does anybody expect to see James active this season? I suppose if he has some kind of breakthrough we could see it, but at this rate, it seems like 2013 is when James will get a chance to make his impact. Is there any reason other than injury that you expect to see him before then?