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Maiocco: 49ers WR Richie James is currently ineligible to return from IR ... sort of

Sep 4, 2021 at 12:54 PM--


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Some confusion surrounding the status of injured San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Richie James surfaced today when respected beat reporter Matt Maiocco listed him as ineligible to return to the team while breaking down some roster side notes.


James was waived with an injury designation on August 28 due to a knee injury. He reverted back to the 49ers on September 1 after going unclaimed, landing on the team's injured reserve list. That was the day after NFL teams trimmed their rosters down to 53 players.

This past week, general manager John Lynch was asked if that meant James, who requires surgery, was ineligible to return to the team.

"You know, I think that remains to be seen," Lynch responded. "And they're still working through all those details. He has not had the surgery as of yet. So, right now, he's on the injured reserve, and we're still kind of tuning in. We'll let you know when we know."

Normally, a player placed on injured reserve before the cut-down deadline must remain on injured reserve for the remainder of the season. If it happens after the deadline, he can return after missing a minimum of three games. However, that only applies to players who landed on the 53-player roster.

James did not.

All is not lost for James, though. There might be a mechanism through which he could return this season, again, per Maiocco. The team could release James with an injury settlement, making him eligible to return after a period of being away from the team.


Of course, that would make him free to sign elsewhere, which the Niners need to consider when deciding on their options.

Thanks to Maiocco for clearing all that up, as there was some debate on the topic.

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