Matt Maiocco

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SANTA CLARA -- LaMichael James is getting more practice time catching punts, and he is spending time after practice, too.

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SANTA CLARA – Kyle Williams fully realizes he will be sliding down the depth chart when Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree return to the playing field.

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SANTA CLARA – Mario Manningham sustained tears to two ligaments in his left knee on Dec. 23. Five months later, Michael Crabtree underwent surgery for a torn right Achilles tendon.

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SANTA CLARA -- Coach Jim Harbaugh did not tip his hand Wednesday whether 49ers All-Pro outside linebacker Aldon Smith will play Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

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SANTA CLARA -- Jim Harbaugh recruited offensive tackle Jonathan Martin to Stanford and coached him for three seasons.

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