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Trent Baalke hints at LaMichael James debut

The 49ers' second-round pick has yet to take the field in 2012, but that could change given the general manager's latest comments.

Thearon W. Henderson

San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke indicated that running back LaMichael James may get his first crack at NFL action very soon when he spoke to the "Bucher & Towny" show on Monday.

Via CSN Bay Area:

"I'd say, it's safe to say that LaMichael is going to start getting his opportunities and (I'm) confident that he'll make the most of them when given the opportunity."

James was the Niners' second-round pick when he was selected 61st overall in the 2012 NFL draft and starred at the University of Oregon before coming to San Francisco. Since his arrival, he has been a healthy scratch for each of the team's first 12 games.

The 49ers have a crowded backfield that has for most of the year featured Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. San Francisco signed Brandon Jacobs in the offseason, burying James on the depth chart even further. A season-ending injury to Hunter, however, has opened the door for James to join the list of actives on game day.

Baalke indicated that the coaching staff would make the final decision on playing time.