James was hurt for the first three games of the season but had played two games in a backup role before being inactive Sunday. San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday that James, a second-round pick in 2012, will still have a role moving forward. Harbaugh said the team decided to go with just Kendall Hunter and Anthony Dixon as Frank Gore’s backups.
“His development's been fine,” Harbaugh said of James. “He’ll be back playing ... LaMichael’s a very good player and he is a very valuable member of our team. We’ve had a situation where we’ve dressed three running backs on certain games and in certain games we’ve dressed four. But, you know, I definitely, we definitely all value and look at LaMichael as a backup running back, like a two. And, there’s going to come time where he is a, like last year, where he’s fully in the mix and depended on and that time will come again. But, he’s doing a good job. I know he wants to play, he wants to be contributing, and when he is dressed he is contributing and doing that.”