Redemption can be a beautiful thing. Just ask Richie James Jr.. The San Francisco 49ers rookie wideout atoned for his costly muffed punt in Week 13 against the Seattle Seahawks in a big way. On Sunday, against the very same Seahawks team, James returned a kick 97 yards to the house.
The special teams score was an immediate response to Seattle's opening touchdown and helped San Francisco claim its first win against the Pacific Northwest rival since 2013. James' 97-yard return also marked the franchise's first return touchdown of any kind since Ted Ginn Jr. in 2011. The play earned him a nomination for the NFL's Pepsi Rookie of the Week Award.
James' role on offense has been limited as a rookie, but he remains a staple on special teams. He now has 600 total return yards (525 kickoff, 75 punt) to go with his five receptions for 94 yards.
You can vote for James at nfl.com/rookies through Friday at noon PT.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Samuels, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Robert Foster, Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis and Miami Dolphins safety Minkah Fitzpatrick are the other nominees.