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49ers bolster WR depth in pair of moves before playing Rams

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The 49ers on Saturday made two roster moves to bolster their group of wide receivers for the team's Week 6 game against the Los Angeles Rams.

The 49ers activated wide receiver Richie James off injured reserve. The team also elevated wide receiver Kevin White and defensive lineman Darrion Daniels from the practice squad.

The club had 52 players on their roster this week, so no corresponding move was necessary to activate James.

A week ago, the 49ers suited up White against the Miami Dolphins and deactivated receiver Dante Pettis, a second-round pick in 2018. Pettis has not caught a pass since Oct. 31 of last season despite not missing any games due to injury.

James sustained a hamstring injury in the 49ers' Week 1 loss to the Arizona Cardinals and has been out of action since. He returned to practice last week but was not ready for game action. James likely will resume his chores as the team's top punt returner.

James was the 49ers' only return man last season. He averaged 8.0 yards on 33 punt returns and 21.4 yards on 20 kickoff returns.

Trent Taylor has averaged 9.5 yards on four punt returns in James' absence.

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White figures to be back in uniform for the 49ers against the Rams. He saw action on two snaps of offense and 15 plays on special teams in the 49ers' 43-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

 

White, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2015 draft, caught just 25 passes for 285 yards during his injury-plagued time with the Chicago Bears. He appeared in just 14 games with five starts.

Daniels will become the 10th player from the 49ers' practice squad to appear in a game this season. An undrafted rookie, Daniels is being added for depth for the team's depleted defensive line.

Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas and Ziggy Ansah are out for the season with injuries. Dee Ford has not played for Week 1, and his season appears to be in question due to an unspecified back condition.

Daniels (6-foot-3, 311 pounds) started 11 games at Nebraska in 2019 after arriving as a graduate transfer from Oklahoma State. He earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors after finishing with 34 tackles, four tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and one interception in his final college season.

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The 49ers now have six wide receivers on their 53-man roster, with White being the seventh wideout who is eligible to play against the Rams on "Sunday Night Football." The club undoubtedly will deactivate a wide receiver, and Pettis appears to be the most likely candidate.

Coach Kyle Shanahan this week spoke about Pettis' status on the team. The 49ers traded up to draft Pettis at No. 44 overall. He finished his rookie season strong before falling out of favor early in his second year.

"Obviously, we envisioned him, hope he could be a starter out there and hope he could be a returner for us," Shanahan said.

Shanahan said Pettis still had a chance to earn his way back onto the playing field.

"I don't make any absolutes on anybody," he said. "Everyone is trying to prove themselves each week in practice. I think Dante has taken a number of steps forward this year. I think he's working hard in practice. I know that he was disappointed not to be up last week, but he came out and he still works hard and I expect him to work hard (in practice) and try to get back up.”