The Kansas City Chiefs designated wide receiver Richie James for return from the injured reserve. James has three weeks to practice before Kansas City can activate him off the injured reserve.
James injured his knee in Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He suffered an MCL injury, and Kansas City placed him on the injured reserve on September 23.
Kansas City tried to trade James during the trade deadline but couldn’t find any suitors.
The Kansas City Chiefs receiver was drafted by San Francisco.
The San Francisco 49ers drafted Richie James in the 7th round, 240th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. James had 23 kick returns for 580 yards and a 97-yard kick return touchdown in his rookie season. He also had 12 punt returns for 75 yards, and nine receptions for 130 yards, and one receiving touchdown.
James had 33 punt returns for 264 yards and 20 kick returns for 428 yards in his second season. He also had six receptions for 165 yards and one touchdown.
James suffered a hamstring injury in Week 1 of his third season. San Francisco placed him on the injured reserve and they him off the injured reserve on October 7. James started in seven games because of the injuries to the 49ers’ receiver room. James recorded 23 receptions for 394 yards and one touchdown.
San Francisco suffered a season-ending injury in 2021.
James suffered a knee injury in the preseason. James underwent season-ending knee surgery before the start of the season. San Francisco waived James with an injury designation on August 28. After going unclaimed during roster costs, San Francisco placed him on the injured reserve.
James got a fresh start in 2022.
The New York Giants and Richie James agreed to a 1-year, $1,065,000 contract. James fumbled twice on two punt returns in Week 8 against the Seattle Seahawks, crushing their chances of making a comeback. James remained the punt returner and got significant playing time at wideout due to injuries to the Giants receiving core.
James finished the season with 24 punt returns for 174 yards. He also recorded a career-high 57 receptions for 569 yards and four touchdowns.
James found a new home in Kansas City.
James signed a 1-year, $1,232,500 contract with the Kansas City Chiefs on April 7. General manager Brett Veach was interested in James when he played college football at Middle Tennessee State University. They also attempted to acquire him when he was with San Francisco. Veach also felt that James brings depth at wide receiver and is a reliable return specialist.
What will his role be with the team?
Kansas City has a complicated receiving core. Ever since the departure of Tyreek Hill and JuJu Smith-Schuster, they have yet to find their number-one receiver.
Their starting receivers are Skyy Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Rashee Rice. Their backups include Mecole Hardman, Justin Watson, and Kadarius Toney.
Once James gets activated, expect James to remain as a backup. There is a possibility that James remains the punt returner moving forward.
It will be interesting to see how Kansas City finished the season with their wide receiver woes.
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