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49ers' LaMichael James, Anthony Dixon earn playing time

Rookie running backs LaMichael James and Anthony Dixon have earned more playing time thanks to the season-ending injury to Kendall Hunter.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers will try to offset the loss of Kendall Hunter by giving more playing time to rookie running backs LaMichael James and Anthony Dixon.

James made his NFL debut on Sunday in the 49ers victory over the Miami Dolphins, and James responded with 30 yards rushing on eight carries. James may receive more playing time with Colin Kaepernick at quarterback for San Francisco, since the team will run more zone-read plays. Both Kaepernick and James thrived in college with spread style rushing attacks.

Gore spoke to the media about James's debut, stating:

"I'm happy for (James). I saw LaMichael when he first got here. The offense was kind of rough for him. Camp was going kind of rough. He wasn't used to playing in small spaces, but he did a hell of a job."

Dixon received two carries on Sunday, rushing for nine yards. Both of his carries came around the goal-line, including a one-yard touchdown run. Dixon also spoke positively about the 49ers backfield:

"I feel like we have the best backfield in the league. We have a lot of talent. We are super deep. I know coach has a hard time trying to figure out what to do with all of us. It's a good problem. We just try to feed off each other."

The rookies increased playing time has come at the expense of veteran running back Brandon Jacobs. Jacbos has been inactive for 10 of the 49ers 13 games, recently stated that he hates playing for San Francisco.