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Christian McCaffrey is entering his fifth season in the NFL, if you can believe it. One reason that sounds so strange is the Panthers running back still only 25 years old. He also missed most of last season due to injuries, so fans were effectively robbed of his fourth year.
When McCaffrey was on the field in 2020 he looked as special as he’s ever been. In three games, he posted 374 total yards and six touchdowns from scrimmage while recording a few eye-popping highlights along the way.
Multiple injuries kept No. 22 on the sidelines most of the year, though. Heading into 2021, offensive coordinator Joe Brady says there’s no plan to dial back his workload and that he has nothing to prove to anybody.
McCaffrey has now tallied over 1,000 touches in his career. That kind of heavy usage generally doesn’t bode well for a RB’s long-term durability. Still, McCaffrey is a rare physical specimen and should have several more strong years left in him.
Derrick Henry, Alvin Kamara, Nick Chubb and Dalvin Cook have to be in the conversation, but McCaffrey should still be considered one of the game’s top running backs when he’s 100%.