Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry Rice believes Richie James had a confidence-boosting game, another 49ers WR failed to capitalize on opportunity

Nov 9, 2020 at 9:26 AM--

Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice watches every San Francisco 49ers game. So on Thursday night, he watched the Green Bay Packers dismantle his former team. It wasn't exactly a fair matchup, given that injuries and a positive COVID-19 test forced the 49ers to put a decimated roster on the field.

The game really could have benefited from being postponed, but the NFL pushed forward with it as scheduled.

With the top of the depth chart ruled out of the game, it was an opportunity for two wide receivers — Trent Taylor and Richie James. One took advantage of the opportunity. James, a third-year receiver and former seventh-round draft pick, had a career day, hauling in nine passes for 184 yards and a score.

Rice was impressed.

"I was like, 'Where has this guy been?'" Rice said Monday morning on 95.7 The Game's The Morning Roast. "He shows flashes now and then, but just watching him really run his routes, get separation -- he caught one over the middle, and I'm a tough guy. When you catch a ball over the middle like that, you want to get downfield, and you want to put six on the board. I really thought he was going to score that one, but overall, he had a great football game, and maybe this can really boost his confidence and get us going."

Rice had hoped that Taylor would take better advantage of his opportunity. After an impressive start to training camp, Taylor has caught just 10-of-21 targets for 86 yards this season.

"I thought Trent Taylor, I thought he would really have a come-out game," Rice said, "but it was disappointing because he only had one reception; I think he was targeted about four times. With Deebo (Samuel) coming back, and Brandon Aiyuk, he's probably not going to get another opportunity."

In the final year of his rookie contract, Taylor is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Rice below.

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