Roger Craig’s wait for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame continues.
The former 49ers running back was among 20 finalists for 10 spots reserved for players whose playing careers ended at least 25 years ago.
But Craig, 59, again was passed over, this time by a blue-ribbon panel assembled to select an expanded class to commemorate the 100th season of the NFL.
Craig, whose career ended in 1993, was the most-recent player considered as a finalist by the blue-ribbon panel. He played eight seasons with the 49ers from 1983 to ’90, before ending his career with one season as a member of the Los Angeles Raiders and two with the Minnesota Vikings. His teams advanced to the playoffs in each of his 11 seasons in the league.
Craig was a four-time Pro Bowl selection. He made the Pro Bowl as a fullback and tailback. He was a three-time Super Bowl champion. In 1985, he became the first player in NFL history to have 1,000 yards both as a rusher and receiver in the same season. Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk in 1999 became the only other player to accomplish the feat.
“In another offense, Roger would easily have gained a lot more yards rushing,” Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh wrote in his forward to “Roger Craig’s "Tales from the San Francisco 49ers Sideline” in 2004. “But we combined rushing and pass receiving. We looked at total yards, not just rushing yards from our backs.”
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Craig was the 1988 NFL Offensive Player of the Year. That season, he rushed for 1,502 yards and nine touchdowns while catching 76 passes for 534 yards.
The blue-ribbon panel selected no running backs as part of the expanded class of seniors.
Former Raiders wide receiver Cliff Branch was also a finalist as a seniors candidate and was not selected for induction.
The centennial class of enshrinees will be joined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020 by five modern-era players who will be elected the day before Super 54 in Miami.
Here is the complete list of inductees selected by the blue-ribbon panel as part of the 2020 Hall of Fame Class that consists of 10 seniors, three contributors and two coaches:
Bill Cowher –1992-2006 (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Jimmy Johnson –1989-1993 (Dallas Cowboys), 1996-99 (Miami Dolphins)
Steve Sabol, Administrator/President – 1964-2012 (NFL Films)
Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner – 1989-2006 (NFL)
George Young, Contributor/General Manager – 1968-1974 (Baltimore Colts), 1975-78 (Miami Dolphins), 1979-1997 (New York Giants), 1998-2001 (NFL)
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)