With Tedd Ginn Jr. having departed to the Carolina Panthers via free agency and with Kyle Williams still recovering and coming back from an injuries, there were questions as to who will be the San Francisco 49ers‘ punt returner.
On Sunday, it was announced that second-year running back LaMichael James would get the job, beginning with the team’s first preseason game against the Denver Broncos this upcoming week. The decision to make James the team’s punt returner, at least for the time being, is the most logical decision.
For starters, being a punt returner and a returner in general is something that is not new for James. Many might remember that he served as one of the team’s kickoff returners when he was activated last season, a role he is also expected to have for the 2013 season.
James returned punts back in his college days with Oregon. He was given the chance to return and field some punts in training camp last season but because of his late integration as a NFL rookie, he struggled to get adjusted to the role.
Now that he has had a full offseason to learn how to field punts in game simulations similar to those in Candlestick Park, James should have no issues. As the only healthy player on the roster who has experience returning punts, it was only logical that he was named the punt returner headed into pre-season.