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Christian McCaffrey sets Panthers record for most catches by RB, halfway through season

Jesse Reed
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey during the NFL preseason

In just his eighth career NFL game, Christian McCaffrey has already done something no other Carolina Panthers running back has accomplished. When he hauled in his fourth pass of the game in the first half, it brought his season total up to 48, which is one more than any other running back in one season in franchise history.

When training camp was starting to kick into high gear, reporters routinely mentioned how intentionally the Panthers were installing McCaffrey into the game plan as a receiver. He’s been minimally effective as a pure runner, but that’s not where he’s been asked to do the bulk of his work. Instead, Carolina has relied on McCaffrey to be a threat in the passing game, and he’s done that so far.

At the time of this writing, McCaffrey has already hauled in 48 passes on 64 targets (75 percent catch rate) for 378 yards with two touchdowns. He’s on pace to eclipse 100 receptions in his first year in the NFL. If that doesn’t justify Carolina using the No. 8 overall pick on this kid, then we’re not sure what will.