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LaMichael James out Sunday for San Francisco 49ers

During the lazy days of summer, we ranked the San Francisco 49ers as having the NFL's deepest backfield. Now, the team is down a runner to start the season.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on NFL Network's "NFL GameDay Morning" that LaMichael James won't play Sunday against the Green Bay Packers because of the sprained MCL he suffered Aug. 25 against the San Diego Chargers, according to a source who spoke with James.

James was expected to miss up to three weeks, so his absence from the lineup isn't especially surprising. The 49ers will roll into action with Frank Gore in the starter's seat and Kendall Hunter taking snaps behind him. The injury means Anthony Dixon might see a bump in playing time against the Packers, but it's Gore the 49ers will lean on, as they typically do.

Of course, whenever we talk about San Francisco's ground game, the X-factor is quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Rapoport reported Sunday that Kaepernick was "banned" from running the ball in his 40 preseason snaps, but that was in August. The Packers will see the full game plan Sunday.

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