49ers Return Specialist Richie James is Latest Playmaker to Suffer Significant Injury

49ers return specialist RIchie James Jr.
49ers return specialist RIchie James Jr. | Harry How/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers were dealt bad news earlier this week after finding out their No. 1 wide receiver, Deebo Samuel, suffered a broken foot while practicing away from the team. Just when Niners fans thought things couldn't get any worse, they received this tidbit on Friday.

According to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, 49ers wideout and return specialist Richie James Jr. broke a bone in his wrist while training and is expected to be sidelined for the next two months.

The 49ers are a well-rounded team, but their biggest positional weakness entering the 2020 season is at receiver. The team lost Emmanuel Sanders to the New Orleans Saints via free agency and traded away Marquise Goodwin to the Philadelphia Eagles, and was confident in the ability of Samuel to lead their corps, with the likes of Brandon Aiyuk and Kendrick Bourne to pick up the load.

Now, the outlook has changed.

James was a seventh-round pick out of Middle Tennessee State by the 49ers in the 2018 NFL Draft. He didn't make much of an impact as a pass-catcher in his first two years, but he made up for it with his ability to return kickoffs and punts.

In his two seasons with the 49ers, James returned 43 kicks for 1,008 yards and a touchdown, while taking 45 punts for 339 yards.

The 49ers can take solace in the fact that they should get James back by the beginning of the regular season, but you have to believe the team is informing their players to take it easy in drills from here on out.