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Teammates eager to help (or watch) Christian McCaffrey make history in Week 17


CHARLOTTE – The way Luke Kuechly sees it, Christian McCaffrey's spectacular 2019 season is a product of all the work that was put in when no one was watching during the offseason.

"It doesn't necessarily surprise you," Kuechly said Thursday. "The guy works his butt off. He does everything the right way."

And the results? Well, they speak for themselves.

As you may have heard, McCaffrey is 67 receiving yards away from becoming just the third player ever with 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season.

With 216 scrimmage yards on Sunday, McCaffrey would surpass Chris Johnson (2,509 scrimmage yards in 2009) for the most scrimmage yards in a single season in league history.

The scrimmage yards record will require a phenomenal outing, but the 1,000-1,000 club is certainly within reach for McCaffrey, who averages 66.2 receiving yards per game.

"It's a fantastic thing that he's on the verge of," Kuechly said. "It gives a lot of guys a lot of excitement, it gives us something to watch in-game when we're sitting on the bench. He's put on a show the whole year for us. We're very lucky to have a guy like that on our team."

The entire locker room feels that way.

"With a season like we're having, it's definitely a silver lining," safety Eric Reid said of McCaffrey's accomplishments. "If I'm Christian, I'm definitely happy with the way I've performed and my contributions to the team. His hard work paid off."

No matter the score, no matter the outcome each week, everyone knows what to expect from McCaffrey when he takes the field.

"He's incredible. Our offense runs through him," quarterback Kyle Allen said a few weeks back. "He's the hidden gem in all of this failure that we've had lately. He's the epitome of consistency. I look up to a guy like that because I want to be consistent and help this team win and he does that every single week."

As you can imagine, McCaffrey's teammates would love to see the star running back finish the year in style. And the guys on offense all want to play a part in history.

If a running back is going to join the 1,000-1,000 club, he's not going to be able to do it alone.

"It would mean a lot," right tackle Taylor Moton said of McCaffrey potentially joining that exclusive club. "He's obviously a great player, but he's also a great person. I'm just happy and blessed to be on the same team as him and help him accomplish everything he's got going on."

"Knowing you could be a part of that," tight end Christ Manhertz said, "that's definitely something we take pride in."

Rookie quarterback Will Grier threw to McCaffrey 15 times in his first career start against the Colts last week. McCaffrey caught all 15 for 119 yards.

With history in the offing, Bank of America Stadium will celebrate every pass that goes McCaffrey's direction on Sunday versus the Saints.

"It would be awesome. I want that for him," Grier said. "It's an honor to be a part of that. Hoping we get there."