CHARLOTTE – Christian McCaffrey is in the midst of the best season by a running back in Panthers history, but it wasn't enough to earn a Pro Bowl spot.
The Pro Bowl roster was revealed Tuesday night, and Todd Gurley of the Rams, Saquon Barkley of the Giants and Ezekiel Elliott of the Cowboys were the three NFC running backs selected. McCaffrey and the Saints' Alvin Kamara were notable names left out at arguably the most competitive spot on this year's roster.
Monday against New Orleans, McCaffrey set a franchise record for scrimmage yards in a season with 1,747 in Carolina's 14th game. But the other top tier running backs have incredibly productive seasons in their own right.
"It is what it is, man," said McCaffrey, who is a second alternate. "It's been my whole life; nothing new."
Many felt McCaffrey deserved to win the Heisman Trophy when the Stanford star was a finalist in 2015 after 3,864 all-purpose yards and 15 combined touchdowns as a sophomore. But he finished second to Alabama running back Derrick Henry, who later became a national champion with the Crimson Tide.
McCaffrey was spectacular again as a junior, recording 2,327 all-purpose yards and 16 total touchdowns, but he wasn't even named a Heisman finalist.
McCaffrey was hoping for his first career Pro Bowl nod, but it wasn't to be. It'll only push him to be better.
"There's a Drake line that I can always refer back to. He says, 'I don't have to prove anything to nobody except myself.' That's what I've taken, a quote I keep leaning back on. I think it's true," McCaffrey said. "Nobody has higher goals for me than me. I keep those to myself obviously, but I'll continue to use that as a chip, continue to use it as fuel to my fire."