— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) December 16, 2018
SANTA CLARA — For the first time in six years, the 49ers returned a kickoff for a touchdown.
On Sunday against Seattle, it came courtesy of rookie Richie James. The Seahawks had just scored a touchdown, then missed the extra point, to take the early lead, 6-0. James took the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. Robbie Gould’s successful PAT gave the 49ers the early 7-6 lead.
SeaBass with a… business decision. pic.twitter.com/9xzOYdz0XN
— Dieter Kurtenbach (@dkurtenbach) December 16, 2018
James, a seventh-round pick out of Middle Tennessee State, has taken the majority of returns this season. He had a 22.9 yards-per-return average entering Sunday. Fellow rookie D.J. Reed nearly took a kickoff for a touchdown in Week 2, but it was nullified due to a facemask penalty.
D.J. Reed has wheeeeeels pic.twitter.com/5242xmjcVC
— Dieter Kurtenbach (@dkurtenbach) September 16, 2018
The 49ers are now just the fourth team with a kickoff return for a touchdown this season. James’ touchdown return was the first since Ted Ginn took one back in Week 1 of the 2011 season against Seattle, which was Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers debut.