Richie James Jr. Breaks Wrist
Another bad break for the 49ers.
Wide receiver/kick returner Richie James Jr. broke his wrist, according to the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, and will miss the next two months. That’s a serious wrist fracture.
This news comes just a day after starting wide receiver Deebo Samuel suffered a Jones Fracture in his foot. Samuel will miss the next three to four months, and could miss the first couple of games.
For James, a two-month recovery timeline means he should be healthy by the end of training camp. Meaning he should have an opportunity to play in at least one preseason game, and compete for his spot on the roster.
But this injury just significantly lowered his chances of making the roster.
James was on the bubble before he broke his wrist. He’s a former seventh-round pick who has caught just 15 passes in his career -- the 49ers rarely give him an opportunity to prove himself on offense. He’s the starting punt returner, and a solid one, but the 49ers have other players who can return punts, players such as Trent Taylor. And this offseason, the 49ers drafted two wide receivers -- Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings -- and signed a third: Travis Benjamin. Benjamin and Aiyuk can return kicks, too.
James needs a monster offseason to keep his place on the roster. Now, he probably won’t have a monster offseason. What a shame.
James is a highly-talented young player. If the 49ers cut him, I expect another team will sign him, and that team will get a quality player.
Lots of quality players such as James could get cut this offseason as teams keep rookies who haven’t proven themselves, because there were no minicamps or OTAs.
Smart teams will keep their eyes glued to the waiver wire.