SANTA CLARA -- Coach Jim Harbaugh has a lengthy to-do list for things he wants to get accomplished between now and the 49ers' next game. Finding a way to incorporate second-year running back LaMichael James into "the mix" is among the priorities.

"I want to get that going," Harbaugh said Tuesday as the 49ers eased into their bye week at the midpoint of the regular season. "He's just too good of a football player not to be playing."

James last played in a game Oct. 6, against the Houston Texans. He wasn't active for the past three games despite being healthy.

Overall, James has appeared in only two of the 49ers' first eight regular-season games this season and touched the ball seven times.

Last season, James had 27 rushes and three receptions in the four games he appeared as a rookie. He also got significant playing time in the postseason.

Harbaugh said he intends to get James more involved in the offense and special teams for the second half of the season but did not go into specifics.

Last season, James returned 14 kicks during the regular season, including one for 62 yards against the New England Patriots that played a huge role in the 49ers' victory that night.

  • Rookie defensive lineman Tank Carradine spent all offseason, training camp and the first half of this season rehabilitating from a serious knee injury. On Tuesday, the 49ers activated Carradine from the non-football-injury list and placed him on their 53-man roster.


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    The 49ers waived linebacker Jermaine Cunningham to make room for Carradine, a second-round selection of the 49ers in this year's draft.

    Harbaugh said Carradine participated in practice Tuesday.

    Carradine suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last November while enrolled at Florida State. He recorded 11 sacks in 11 starts his senior season for the Seminoles.

    He has Wednesday and four practices next week to get ready for his first NFL game, which could happen Nov. 10 against the Carolina Panthers.

  • Speculation swirled around the 49ers as the league's trade deadline approached Tuesday. In the end, they refrained from making any moves.

    One national report said the 49ers were "working the phones" as the deadline neared. Speculation heightened when Harbaugh arrived for his weekly news conference 20 minutes later than scheduled.

    When asked if there was any news on the trade front, Harbaugh said: "Nothing to report."

    A short time later, news surfaced that only one trade happened among the league's 32 teams.

    Coincidentally, the trade involved former 49ers defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga, who got shipped by the Philadelphia Eagles to the New England Patriots, along with a sixth-round draft pick, for a fifth-round draft pick from the Patriots.

    Recently, there was a report that said the 49ers made running back Anthony Dixon available via trade, given he is in the final year of his contract and the 49ers are on the verge of needing spots on their 53-man roster to accommodate the expected return of several players.

    Now that the deadline has passed, the 49ers will have to cut a player for each one that they activate from the non-football-injury, injured-reserve and physically unable to perform lists.

    The players currently on those aforementioned lists include: wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham, running back Marcus Lattimore, linebackers Aldon Smith and Nick Moody and cornerback Eric Wright.

  • Quarterback Colin Kaepernick's first NFL start came almost one year ago. The Panthers game will mark his 16th regular-season start, the equivalent of a full season.

    Here's Harbaugh's take on Kaepernick's maturation from a seldom-used player his first 11/2 NFL seasons to the unquestioned starter the past year.

    "He has done a phenomenal job in all regards," Harbaugh said. "I've talked to him many times about his different qualities. He keeps getting better, and it seems weekly now, game after game. It's consistent now every game; A plus, plus."

    Follow Steve Corkran on Twitter at twitter.com/CorkOnTheNFL.

    nov. 10 game

    Carolina (4-3) at 49ers (6-2), 1:05 p.m. FOX