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Source: 49ers to activate James from the non-football IL

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The 49ers on Thursday will activate wide receiver Richie James from the non-football injury list, a league source told NBC Sports Bay Area.

James has been out since June after sustaining a fractured right wrist while working out in Florida. After a brief stay on the reserve/COVID-19 list to open training camp, James was placed on the non-football injury list.

James is a strong candidate for a spot on the 49ers' 53-man roster despite not taking part in a practice with his teammates this summer. The 49ers likely will decide between James and veteran Tavon Austin for the final spot among the team's wide receivers.

NFL teams must trim their 80-player roster to 53 by Saturday, 1 p.m. James proved himself last year with a solid season as the 49ers' return specialist.

James ranked fifth in the NFL with 264 yards on punt returns for an 8.0 average.

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He handled every punt cleanly during the regular season, but muffed his first punt-return attempt in Super Bowl LIV, which he immediately recovered for no gain.

James, a third-year pro from Middle Tennessee, appeared in 16 games last season and caught six passes for 165 yards and a touchdown. As a rookie in 2018, he caught nine passes for 130 yards and one touchdown.