The slot is a small, narrow opening. It’s usually taken up by a wide receiver or a running back.
Slot receivers are receivers who run in slants and short routes on a route tree. They can also block defenders. Their primary role is to protect the quarterback, but they are also able to create mismatches downfield. In many situations, a slot receiver serves as a check-down for the quarterback, picking up defensive linemen breaking through the line of scrimmage.
If a slot receiver is lining up on the offensive side, his responsibilities may include being the recipient of a handoff, blocking a defender, and preventing a sack. This may require a defense to switch formations.
Slot receivers are often used in place of fullbacks and tight ends. This can be particularly effective in catch and run games, as these players are adept at running slants and short routes.
Slot receivers are also commonly used in the NFL, as they can help a team set up multiple ball receiver formations. However, this can cause confusion for the defense. A slot receiver can line up on either side of the offense, meaning that defenses are forced to make changes to their formations to cover all the receivers.
Slot receivers are usually used in wide receiver formations. But they can also be used in other positions, as they can play in place of a tight end. For example, a slotback can be used in place of a fullback, and a slot cornerback can be used in place of a nickel cornerback.