Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey's offseason went from ordinary to traumatic when he, his friends, and his brothers (including 49ers wide receiver Max McCaffrey) watched 72-year-old Dan Smoker Sr. fall 20 feet onto a rock below him during a hike up Castle Rock in Castle Rock, Colo. on Saturday. Thankfully, in part because of the quick response by McCaffrey, the rest of his group, and paramedics, Smoker survived the fall.

On Tuesday, McCaffrey, who is coming off a rookie season that saw him total 1,086 yards and seven touchdowns from scrimmage, told about the traumatic experience.

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

As they rounded the corner, McCaffrey watched Smoker, who was hiking with his 13-year-old grandson Eli, fall for what felt like 10 seconds.

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

McCaffrey called for help. The others tended to Smoker until paramedics arrived 11 minutes later. According to's Max Henson, Smoker suffered "a broken femur, a broken pelvis, internal bleeding, bleeding on the brain, nine fractured ribs and a broken neck." At one point, before the paramedics got there, his breathing stopped, which forced the group to perform chest compressions. Smoker is in critical condition, but he's stable.

"Everybody stepped up," McCaffrey said. "I called 9-1-1, and it felt like an eternity. It felt like we were up there waiting for four hours. But I looked back at my call log and it took 11 minutes before the paramedics came. Amazing what those guys did."

That 911 call has since been released by TMZ Sports.

Dan Smoker, Smoker Sr.'s son, credited them with saving his dad's life.

"I credit them with saving my dad's life," Dan said.

In the aftermath, McCaffrey has been exchanging texts with Eli to check in on him. As McCaffrey said, "I was traumatized, and I had no relation." He added that "it could be a lifelong bond between us."

Afterwards, Dan tweeted about the incident, which the McCaffrey brothers both responded to. 

"I don't know what would have happened," McCaffrey said. "We were lucky to be at the right place at the right time."