The feat was achieved for the first time in the 1985 NFL season. San Francisco 49ers running back Roger Craig was the player who achieved it. That feat was gaining 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in a single season! Since then, only one other player, Marshall Faulk running back of the St. Louis Rams has since achieved it, in 1999.
In a league that has become extremely-pass heavy, even rushing for 1,000 yards in a single season is quite a feat these days. In the 2018 season for example, there were only nine 1,000-yard rushers, as opposed to the 14 back in the 1999 season. Therefore, gaining both 1,000 yards rushing and receiving for a running back has become that much more difficult. However, there are a few young and explosive players currently in the NFL that may actually achieve the feat. Here are three possible individuals that could do so in 2019.
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara is so close to achieving the feat that he can taste it! In 2017 Kamara was a rookie out of Tennessee sitting far back on the depth chart behind veterans Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram. However, four games into the season Peterson was traded, and Kamara moved into a more prominent role. He showed his ability to run between the tackles and use his elusiveness to gain yards on the ground. And he also displayed great hands and the ability to pick up yards after the catch when used as a receiver out of the backfield. He finished his rookie campaign with 728 yards rushing and 826 yards receiving, earning the 2017 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Kamara followed his amazing rookie season up with a productive sophomore season. He upped his yards on the ground, gaining 883 yards rushing. But he saw a decline in the receiving game, as he only had 709 yards receiving. But 2019 offers him a new opportunity. With the departure of Ingram to the Baltimore Ravens, Kamara is the featured back in the Saints offense. He will likely get over 200 carries in the upcoming season. That puts him right in range to rush for over 1,000 yards on the ground with his abilities. Couple that with the fact that his quarterback is the ageless Drew Brees. And with Brees slinging the ball his way, he should have ample opportunity for 1,000 yards receiving!
After speaking of the 2017 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, if would be remiss to not mention the 2018 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year. That recipient was New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley. His highlight reel from his time at Penn State looked like something out of a video game. And NFL fans fully expected him to light up the stat sheets in the pros as well. Barkley did not disappoint setting all kinds of rookie records on his way to 1,307 yards rushing and 721 yards receiving. In his sophomore campaign he will likely also rack up the yards on the ground. Also, with the departure of All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from the Giants, Barkley should see more targets in the passing game. With that increased share of targets he will be a top choice to hit the elusive 1,000-1,000 accomplishment.
It’s one thing to have the skills needed to earn the 1,000-1,000-yard season. It’s another level though to have Roger Craig endorse you for it. And Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey got that endorsement. Of McCaffrey, Craig recently told ESPN that “He will definitely get the 1,000-1,000.” In 2018, his sophomore season, McCaffrey finished with 1,098 yards rushing and 867 yards receiving. He was extremely close, and his third season could be the charm. And as Craig also mentioned about McCaffrey’s chase for the 1,000-1,000, “It’s in his DNA to make that happen. He’s got the tools. He’s built for it. His day will come.” Quite the seal of approval from an all-time NFL great!
Who Will Get It?
Barring any injuries, if the above individuals play all 16 games next season they should be in great position to try and achieve the 1,000-1,000 season. Let’s hope they all stay healthy and come back even hungrier in 2019 to light up those box scores!