Christian McCaffrey Announced as Madden NFL 25 Cover Athlete

    San Francisco 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey will be featured on the cover of Madden NFL 25 when it's released later this summer.

    The awards are still rolling in for Christian McCaffrey.

    The San Francisco 49ers running back, named the NFL‘s 2023 Offensive Player of the Year, will be featured on the cover of Madden NFL 25, EA Sports announced on Tuesday.

    Madden NFL 25 Selects 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey for Cover

    McCaffrey will be the first 49ers player to be featured on the Madden cover since the game was first released in 1998. He’s the 10th running back to grace the cover, and the first since Cleveland Browns RB Peyton Hillis won a fan vote for Madden NFL 12.

    McCaffrey has been utterly dominant since San Francisco acquired him from the Carolina Panthers at the NFL’s 2022 trade deadline.

    In 2022, he posted 1,210 yards from scrimmage and scored 10 touchdowns in 11 regular-season games. McCaffrey finished second in the NFL Comeback Player of the Year voting and earned his fourth Pro Bowl nod.

    In 2023, CMC managed 2,023 yards from scrimmage despite sitting out Week 18; no other RB put up more than 1,600.

    His 21 total touchdowns tied for the NFL lead, while McCaffrey generated more first downs — both in the passing game (31) and the running game (83) — than any other running back.

    MORE: History of the Madden Cover: A Year-By-Year Look at Every Cover Athlete

    In addition to OPOY, McCaffrey won first-team All-Pro honors and finished third in MVP voting behind Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson and Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott.

    He’s under contract through the 2027 season after agreeing to a two-year extension last week.

    Can CMC Avoid the Madden Curse?

    McCaffrey has had injuries in the past, appearing in just 10 games with the Panthers between 2020 and 2021.

    But he’s been remarkably healthy since joining the 49ers. He’s rarely even been knicked up, and his only missed game was that aforementioned Week 18 absence in 2023.

    While it’s considered an honor to be featured on the front of the preeminent NFL video game, the Madden cover curse has developed a myth of its own over the past 25 years.

    Regression to the mean is a more reasonable explanation than a curse. Still, players highlighted by Madden have seemingly been prone to dismal seasons or injury issues after being placed on the cover.

    The curse hasn’t lived up to its moniker in recent years. Star players like Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, and Lamar Jackson have thrived despite being pictured on the Madden cover.

    Wide receiver Antonio Brown, the last non-quarterback featured on the Madden cover, was dominant in his cover season (2018). But the curse seemed to get him a year later when he became a nuisance for the Steelers before eventually moving on to the Las Vegas Raiders and New England Patriots.

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