The San Francisco 49ers return to full practice on Wednesday, which means we'll get the first practice participation report of the week. Running back LaMichael James did not participate in practice last week, but we may have a change this week:
LaMichael James (knee) said he thinks he'll be able to practice tomorrow. James sprained his MCL in the #49ers' preseason finale.— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) September 11, 2013
The 49ers close the media out of the team portion of practice, meaning they can see individual work. I suspect we'll see James listed as a limited participant, and then once again questionable on Friday. The 49ers listed him as questionable this past week, but there was basically zero chance he would play.
James injured his MCL two Thursday's ago against the San Diego Chargers. The initial report said he would miss three to four weeks. That timetable could conceivably get him back in time for the Colts game. If he is back at practice tomorrow, then it would seem to indicate a strong chance of playing in the Colts game. I would be very surprised if he played this weekend against a very physical Seattle Seahawks defense.
Whatever the case, it is a good sign for James, as he seems to be well on his way to recovery. The 49ers running game was not exactly stellar on Sunday, and the team only used Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter in the running back position. Bringing back LaMichael James does not suddenly clear things up, but it provides one more dynamic weapon for an offense already looking fairly dangerous.