The shorthanded 49ers didn't get the result they were looking for on Thursday night, losing 34-17 to the Green Bay Packers in a game that wasn't even as close as the score indicated.
Amid the thorough domination by Green Bay was a standout performance from 49ers wideout Richie James, who finished the night with nine catches for 184 yards and a touchdown. Richard Sherman, who remains on injured reserve for the 49ers, was excited to see James take full advantage of his opportunity with so many wideouts out for San Francisco.
Just about every starting pass-catcher for the 49ers wasn't able to play in Thursday's loss, as tight end George Kittle, along with wide receivers Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and Kendrick Bourne weren't able to play due to injuries or being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. James himself even was questionable going into Thursday with an ankle issue.
James had just 15 catches over the past two seasons, but nearly matched that total in one game against the Packers. Especially with backup quarterback Nick Mullens in the lineup as Jimmy Garoppolo was placed on injured reserve this week, James' performance only looks that much more impressive.
Kittle is expected to be on the sideline for the foreseeable future with a small fracture in his foot, but Bourne, Aiyuk and Samuel hopefully can return from the reserve/COVID-19 list sooner rather than later for the 49ers.
NFL players don't get many opportunities to shine, especially at a competitive position like receiver, but like Sherman, the 49ers at least can take solace in seeing James take full advantage of his chance to shine on primetime.