49ers’ Christian McCaffrey lands Madden NFL 25 cover, breaks RB cover drought: ‘It’s pretty surreal’

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Three-time Pro Bowler and the 2023 NFL rushing yards leader Christian McCaffrey has added another honor to his resume. The star running back will grace the highly coveted cover of Madden NFL 25’s cover. 

While the San Francisco 49ers running back wrapped up another stellar season in February, he still appeared to be surprised that he landed on the cover of the popular video game. 

“This is a dream come true,” McCaffrey. 28, told People magazine.

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Christian McCaffrey runs with ball

Christian McCaffrey of the San Francisco 49ers runs the ball for a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium on Feb. 11, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

McCaffrey finished the 2023 campaign with a career-best 1,459 rushing yards, 14 rushing touchdowns, and 7 receiving touchdowns. His production led to his third Pro Bowl selection. 

The running back was a key part of the Niners’ run to Super Bowl LVIII. Despite his impressive production and accolades, McCaffrey still did not expect to be doing a photoshoot for the Madden cover.

“I never expected to be on the cover of Madden. It’s something that I never even envisioned myself doing or accomplishing, so when I got the call, I felt unbelievably grateful,” McCaffrey said. “I was genuinely shocked, but happy and excited and all of the emotions.”

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McCaffrey now joins an exclusive club of players picked for the long-running video game’s cover. He also became the first running back to grace the cover since Adrian Peterson and Barry Sanders appeared on separate covers in 2013 in honor of the game’s 25th anniversary.

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McCaffrey recalled playing Madden during his childhood.

“Eddie George was on the cover, and we played it on the Nintendo 64,” McCaffrey said in reference to the video game’s 2001 edition.

Christian McCaffrey celebrates a TD

San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey celebrates after scoring against the Arizona Cardinals in Santa Clara, California, Oct. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

McCaffrey said he would play the video game with his brothers and would frequently select the Denver Broncos because his father, Ed McCaffrey, was a wide receiver for the franchise at the time. The eldest McCaffrey won three Super Bowls during his standout NFL career. 

“I have three brothers and there were four controllers, so it was perfect. We’d do two on two and we’d play with the Broncos, when you had my dad and Rod Smith and Terrell Davis and all those guys, so it was just a lot of fun.”

Christian McCaffrey celebrates afc championship

Christian McCaffrey of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after defeating the Detroit Lions during the NFC Championship game at Levi’s Stadium on Jan. 28, 2024, in Santa Clara, California.  (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

While McCaffrey making an appearance in front of the camera took the 28-year-old out of his comfort zone, he was more than willing to make an exception for Madden.

“If you’re shooting for the cover of Madden, you better learn to like the camera,” he quips. “I’ve just tried to soak in this whole thing and enjoy it while it’s happening.”

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McCaffrey described the experience as “surreal.”

“It’s pretty surreal. We had a lot of fun with it,” he adds.

Madden NFL 25 is scheduled to be released on Aug. 16.

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