Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey broke out in the 2019 season by putting together a career-best campaign. McCaffrey‘s production has put him squarely in the conversation as the game’s best player at his position while earning some recognition for the MVP award race. It has also earned him another Pro Bowl selection, but he won’t be around for this year’s game due to one reason that outweighs him being in the fold for the event.
Christian McCaffrey’s 2019 season
In his third year in the league, McCaffrey put together his most productive campaign as it saw him become the third player to post at least 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards, joining Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk and Roger Craig.
He finished third with 1,387 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns along with being second with 116 catches for 1,005 receiving yards and four touchdowns. McCaffrey’s 116 catches were the most ever for a running back, breaking his previous record last season (107). He had also become the first running back to post multiple 100-reception seasons, while his 2,392 total scrimmage yards are the most in Panthers history.
There are also several other impressive NFL records that McCaffrey set as he has the most catches and receiving yards through his first three seasons. He has also put himself alongside Chuck Foreman as the only players with at least 20 rushing touchdowns and 15 receiving touchdowns over that span. McCaffrey’s production also saw him join Herschel Walker in league history as the only running backs with more than 2,000 receiving yards in his first 42 career games.
All of that further underlined his stellar campaign that saw him become the first offensive player named First-Team All-Pro at two positions. Despite all that, fans won’t get to see him in the 2020 Pro Bowl in Orlando as he has a reasonable excuse not to participate.
Why Christian McCaffrey won’t be at the 2020 Pro Bowl
Although McCaffrey put forth at tremendous season, it didn’t equate to the Panthers making a push into the playoffs. Carolina fell apart down the stretch of the second half of the year, finishing last in the NFC South with a 5-11 record.
That has led to the Panthers making a significant change by firing longtime head coach Ron Rivera. Carolina has quickly moved forward by hiring former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule to replace him in that vacancy. According to Jourdan Rodrigue of the Athletic, it has played a factor in McCaffrey deciding to skip the Pro Bowl as he will be working in the spring workouts that have been moved up a couple of weeks due to the change.
McCaffrey doesn’t want anything to sidetrack that situation as it will be crucial to get on the same page with Rhule’s offensive scheme early on to continue to utilize him the best way possible. It may be a bummer not to see him at the Pro Bowl, but it has allowed for New Orleans Saints’ Alvin Kamara to take the open spot.
Christian McCaffrey’s focus lies on 2020 season
The 2019 campaign may have come to a disappointing end, but it clear that McCaffrey has already turned the page on the season.
The 23-year-old is honed in on preparing for 2020 as there could be some major changes across the board. That may see the team entertain the idea of moving on from Pro Bowl quarterback Cam Newton. Meanwhile, there could be an intriguing offensive scheme under Rhule that may see McCaffrey used in another fashion.
The next few months will be telling of what the Panthers plan to do with their roster, but what is going to stay cemented through it all is that McCaffrey is a significant part of their future.