Wednesday was the day the NFL announced the final ten finalists for the expanded Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020. Ten seniors were going to make it, but former San Francisco 49ers legend running back Roger Craig was not among the ten to make it to the next round. Craig made it to the final 20, but couldn’t make it through to the next round for players whose career ended 25 years ago. This year with this class was thought to be one of if not the best shot for Craig, whose career ended the most-recently of any player that was considered a finalist on the blue-ribbon panel that was assembled to select this expanded class for the 100th NFL season.
Craig had a decorated career as he was a four-time Pro Bowler, making it both a fullback and halfback. The three-time Super Bowl champion became the first player in NFL history to have 1,000 yards rushing and receiving. That happened in 1985, and it’s only happened two other times since. Once in 1999, when Marshall Faulk did with the Rams and in 2019 Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey did as well. Craig was the 1988 NFL Offensive Player of the Year as well. Could his position be held against him? The panel didn’t select any running backs as part of the expanded class. I know he was looking forward to this, but hopefully next year Uncle Rog gets in. Here is the list of coaches, contributors, and players that made it.
Bill Cowher – 1992-2006 Pittsburgh Steelers
Steve Sabol, Administrator/President – 1964-2012 NFL Films
Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League
Harold Carmichael, WR – 1971-1983 Philadelphia Eagles, 1984 Dallas Cowboys
Jim Covert, T – 1983-1990 Chicago Bears
Bobby Dillon, S – 1952-59 Green Bay Packers
Cliff Harris, S – 1970-79 Dallas Cowboys
Winston Hill, T – 1963-1976 New York Jets, 1977 Los Angeles Rams
Alex Karras, DT – 1958-1962, 1964-1970 Detroit Lions
Donnie Shell, S – 1974-1987 Pittsburgh Steelers
Duke Slater, T – 1922 Milwaukee Badgers, 1922-25 Rock Island Independents, 1926-1931 Chicago Cardinals
Mac Speedie, E – 1946-1952 Cleveland Browns [AAFC/NFL]
Ed Sprinkle, DE/LB/E – 1944-1955 Chicago Bears