San Francisco 49ers receiver Richie James Jr. has broken his right wrist during offseason workouts and won’t be ready to return to the field until after the start of training camp.
The 49ers confirmed a report of the injury by NFL Network on Friday and said they will have a better idea of how long James will be sidelined after he reports to training camp next month. NFL Network said James is expected to miss at least two months.
James is the second receiver lost to injury this week for the defending NFC champion 49ers. No. 1 wideout Deebo Samuel underwent surgery Thursday to repair a fracture in his left foot suffered during informal player workouts in Tennessee. Samuel said he expects to be back in 10 weeks, meaning his will miss the start of training camp but should be healthy for the season opener Sept. 13.
Players on all NFL teams have been working out away from team facilities this offseason because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
James originally joined the Niners as a seventh-round pick in 2018 and has been the team’s primary returner for punts and kicks. Over the past two years, James has averaged 23.4 yards per kick return with one touchdown in 2018 against Seattle and 7.5 yards per punt return.
He has also gotten limited time as a receiver, catching 15 passes for 295 yards and two touchdowns.
The 49ers previously lost receiver Emmanuel Sanders in free agency to New Orleans and will now open training camp with only one of the four receivers who played in the Super Bowl, Kendrick Bourne, able to practice.
San Francisco drafted receiver Brandon Aiyuk in the first round and he has college experience as a returner. The Niners also picked Jauan Jennings in the seventh round, have Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd returning from season-long injuries, free agent addition Travis Benjamin and 2018 second-round pick Dante Pettis in the mix at receiver.
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