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Carolina noticed, too. The Panthers kicked away from James in the divisional round last week, when he had two fair catches on punts and never had a chance to take a kickoff out of the end zone.

But James knows his next opportunity might only be a play away. After a quiet divisional-round showing in last season’s playoffs, James had five carries for 34 yards and a touchdown in the NFC championship game victory at Atlanta.

“Just experience, being here before and knowing what it takes. We know where we are. We know how hard it is. That’s the way I look at it,” James said. “I know what to expect. Just got to go out there and compete and hope to get a chance.”

NOTES: The 49ers had a healthy showing in Friday’s final practice. OLB Ahmad Brooks (illness), CB Carlos Rogers (hamstring) and FB Will Tukuafu (knee) took part and looked well. While Rogers and Tukuafu were listed as questionable on the injury report, both are expected to play Sunday. … Among the entries for Saturday’s $100,000 California Derby is a colt named Harbaugh, which was running at 10-1 odds. The 49ers coach joked that the field “better not underestimate him.”


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