What Is a Slot Receiver?

A Slot receiver is a football player who lines up close to the middle of the field and whose blocking is often more important than that of other wide receiving positions. In running plays, the Slot can act as a big decoy to draw defenders away from other receivers and allow them to gain separation, or he can block for the center or guards and help protect them from getting hit by opposing players.

A slot is a narrow opening, especially one for receiving something. The term can also refer to a position or time allocation: I booked a slot for four o’clock, and the doctor slotted me into his afternoon surgery. It can also refer to a place in a schedule or program: He was assigned a slot at the new school for the fall semester. Lastly, a slot can also refer to the narrow notch or other opening between the tips of certain birds’ primaries during flight. This opening helps maintain a steady flow of air over the wings and reduce drag.