Slot is a narrow opening on a machine. It is typically taken up by a running back, a tight end, or a slot receiver. In hockey, the high slot is a prime place to shoot, while the low slot is where a goaltender is standing. A well-placed one-timer from the high slot is one of the best shots in the game.
Slot receivers are often used to create multiple ball receiver formations. Their roles vary from protecting the quarterback to blocking defenders. They can also serve as check downs for the quarterback, or as an outlet receiver.
Many teams use slot receivers in place of fullbacks and tight ends. Depending on the type of offense, these players can also line up on either side of the field. Usually, they are not given long passes to help the quarterback.
A slot receiver can create mismatches downfield, as well as pick up a defensive lineman who is breaking through the line of scrimmage. This can help the quarterback to avoid a sack and keep the play alive.
Defenses with a slot receiver can be particularly challenging to cover. To make matters worse, there are sometimes as many as three slot receivers on the field at once. As a result, formations can get confusing.
Slot receivers can line up on either side of the offense. They may also be considered wide receivers on depth charts. When the quarterback is passing, he can use a slot receiver to get up field and prevent the defender from intercepting the pass.