What is the Ball Carrier in Football?
In football, the ball carrier is the player who has possession of the football. Possession is cited as having possession of the football when they have control of the football (the ball is not wobbling or loose in their hands), and they make a 'football move' such as taking steps forward, taking steps backward, spinning, juking, etc.
On offense, the ball carrier can be many players such as the quarterback when about to pass the ball or hand it off, the running back when running with the ball, or the wide receiver after catching the ball. There can only be a ball carrier on defense after a turnover has occurred, such as an interception or fumble that is recovered by a defender.
Tackling the Ball Carrier
The ball carrier can be downed to stop progress by tackling them down or forcing them out of bounds. If the ball carrier loses possession of the ball while being tackled, during a handoff, or while running with the ball, it is called a fumble, and anyone can recover the ball and become the ball carrier.