Christian McCaffrey helped save 72-year-old hiker's life

Fresh off his rookie season where he racked up over 1,000 yards from scrimmage, Christian McCaffrey made headlines on Tuesday for his essential skills off the field.

On Saturday, McCaffrey was hiking with his brothers and a couple friends in Castle Rock, Colorado when they saw 72-year-old Dan Smoker Sr. plunge 20 feet onto a rock. Smoker was hiking with his 13-year-old grandson, Eli.

"It felt like he was in the air for 10 seconds," McCaffrey told "I had never seen anything quite like that in my life as far as the trauma and the sound. We were in shock."

That's when the Panthers running back and his crew went into action -- McCaffrey called 9-1-1 while others tended to Smoker by performing chest compressions and stabilizing his head.

McCaffrey said that the precious moments they spent waiting for paramedics to arrive felt like an eternity.

"It felt like we were up there waiting for four hours," said McCaffrey. "But I looked back at my call log and it took 11 minutes before the paramedics came. Amazing what those guys did."

Smoker was rushed to the hospital and treated for his extensive injuries which included a broken neck, broken femur, broken pelvis, internal bleeding, and bleeding on the brain.

Despite the traumatic event, the Smoker family is just thankful their loved one is still alive -- Smoker Sr. remains in critical but stable condition. The 72-year-old's son, Dan Smoker Jr., took to Twitter to express his gratitude.

Even though it's been days since the the fateful hiking trip, McCaffrey is still struggling to find words to describe the experience.

"It's such a... I don't know what you'd call it," said McCaffrey while reflecting on what happened. "Truly a blessing that we turned the corner at that exact moment and we could be there for him."

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