James goes from spectator to contributor for 49ers

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- LaMichael James has transformed himself from a rookie spectator to a key contributor to a Super Bowl team in a matter of weeks for the San Francisco 49ers.

After being inactive the first 12 games of the season, James has become an impact player for the 49ers in their run to next week's Super Bowl against Baltimore.

His long kickoff return set up the go-ahead score in a late-season win in New England. His experience running the zone read helped Colin Kaepernick rush for 181 yards in a win to open the playoffs against Green Bay. Then James got into the scoring act himself last week, getting his first career touchdown to start San Francisco's comeback in a 28-24 win over Atlanta in the NFC championship.