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Monday, November 11, 2013

Rutgers uses caution but thinks Paul James could carry full workload

Running back Paul James (lower right leg) is expected to be near-fully healthy Saturday against Cincinnati. 
(AP file photo)

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

Running back Paul James practiced in full Sunday for the first time in nearly eight weeks, a sign his lower right leg could withstand consistent pounding in a game.

Head coach Kyle Flood said he would reserve judgment on the sophomore until he saw him practice later Tuesday, but all indications are James, listed as probable, could receive a bulk of the carries Saturday for the first time in five games.

Quarterback Gary Nova said Monday he thinks James will be "a full go."

"I don't think they'd put him out there if he couldn't," Nova said. "I think he'll accept his role whether it's getting 30 carries or 10 carries."

Meet Rutgers' updated — and near-complete — cornerback corps

James completed Sunday's two-hour practice in "spiders" — minimal pads — and Tuesday's practice will use only shoulder pads. Practices are typically lighter in physical contact as the season wears on.

["I don't think they'd put (Paul James) out there if he couldn't (play fully). I think he'll accept his role whether it's getting 30 carries or 10 carries." — Gary Nova]

James, Rutgers' leading rusher, also played a notable role in pass protection and has six catches for 65 yards. 

"It's just another weapon,"Nova said Monday. "Obviously you saw what he can do when he's healthy. He obviously adds that big play in the backfield. He brings another dimension we'll be more than happy to have back."

MORE: How Darius Hamilton (shoulder) affects Rutgers' d-line

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