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Eligible receiver

From Academic Kids


Eligible receivers are those American football and Canadian football players who are allowed to catch forward passes. They include wide receivers, tight ends, halfbacks, fullbacks and even the quarterback, and in Canadian football they also include the slotback. All defensive players are eligible receivers (and consequently allowed to intercept forward passes). Once an eligible receiver touches the ball all players become eligible receivers. Ineligible receivers may not touch a forward pass in any way before it is touched by an eligible receiver.

The eligibility of the quarterback in American football varies with the game's level. In the NFL, a quarterback who receives a snap directly, from immediately behind the center, is not an eligible receiver, but a quarterback who lines up more deeply in the backfield, such as in a shotgun formation, is eligible. At all levels below the NFL (including college and high school), quarterbacks are always eligible receivers.

Line positions including centers, guards and offensive tackles are not eligible receivers. (A tackle may be eligible if a team lines up with an unbalanced line.)

See also: Glossary of American football

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