Could Baldwin, James jolt 49ers' offense?

September, 24, 2013
9/24/13
8:00
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Receiver Jon Baldwin and running back LaMichael James are surely not the missing links to the San Francisco 49ers' offensive woes.

James
Baldwin
But they might get a chance to see if they can make an impact in the offense, which has scored a combined 10 points in the past two games.

The 49ers’ receivers beyond Anquan Boldin have been unable to get open in the two losses. The team missed tight end Vernon Davis, held out of Sunday’s loss due to a hamstring injury. San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday that Baldwin has practiced well recently and there is a chance he could be active for the first time this season Thursday at St. Louis.

Baldwin was acquired from Kansas City in an August trade for fellow former first-round pick A.J. Jenkins. Baldwin is athletic and is capable of making big plays. But he failed to make an impact with the Chiefs.

James is getting healthy after suffering a knee injury late in the preseason. There are no guarantees he will be active when healthy, but don't be shocked if he is given a chance to play and provide a spark as a receiving option out of the backfield. ESPN analyst Matt Williamson thinks James could be a Darren Sproles-like player.

Right now, the 49ers’ offense has little explosion -- so any help Baldwin and James could give would be welcome.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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