HomeMore Sports


American Football101ArticlesBowl GamesCoachingCollege FootballDefensive AlignmentsDrillsEquipmentFlag FootballHistoryHow ToKick TypesLeaguesLingoNFL FootballNFL TeamsOffensive FormationsOfficialsPass TypesPenaltiesPlayersPlaysPositionsQuestionsCan A Girl Play Football?Can Quarterbacks Run With The Ball?Does A Touchdown Count As A First Down In Football?Football QuestionsHow Are Field Goals Measured In Football?How Long Does An American Football Game Last?How Long Is An NFL Football Field?How Many Chances Does The Offense Get To Reach A First Down In Football?How Many Downs Are There In Football?How Many Players Are There In An American Football Team?How Many Points Is A Blocked Field Goal Return In Football?How Many Points Is A Field Goal Worth In Football?How Many Points Is A Kick In Football?How Many Points Is A Safety Worth In Football?How Many Points Is A Touchdown Worth In Football?How Many Quarterbacks Are On A Football Team?How Many Steps Are In A Field Goal In Football?How Many Yards Are In A First Down In Football?How Many Yards Is The End Zone In Football?How Many Yards Wide Is A Football Field?Is The Quarterback The Captain Of The Team In Football?What Are Skilled Positions In Football?What Are Some Of The Lesser Known Rules Of Football?What Are The Dimensions Of An American Football Field?What Are The Most Common Penalties In NFL Football?What Are The Positions On A Football Team?What Are The Various Defensive Positions In American Football?What Counts As A Tackle In Football?What Does A Cornerback Do In Football?What Does A Field Goal Mean In Football?What Does A Guard Do In Football?What Does A Linebacker Do In Football?What Does A Tight End Do In Football?What Does A Wide Receiver Do In Football?What Does Punt Mean In A Football Game?What Happens After A Touchdown In Football?What Happens If A Wide Receiver Misses The Catch In Football?What Is A Touchdown In Football?What Is An Incomplete Pass Versus A Complete Pass In Football?What Is Justin Tucker's Longest Field Goal?What Is The Blue Line In Football?What Is The Easiest And Hardest Position To Play In Football?What Is The Longest Field Goal Kicked In College Football?What Is The Longest Field Goal Kicked In High School Football?What Is The Most Obscure Rule In Ncaa College Football?What Is The Yellow Line In Football?What It Means To Be A Quarterback In Football?What Makes A Good Wide Receiver In Football?What Position Hikes The Ball In Football?When A Defensive Player Catches A Pass In Football?When Is An Onside Kick No Longer Recoverable By The Kicking Team In Football?When Was The First Touchdown Scored In NFL Football?Where Is Football Most Popular?Who Catches The Ball In Football?Who Created Football In America?Who Is The Best QB In The NFL Football?Who Is The Best Running Back In NFL Football?Who Is The Best Team In American Football?Who Is The First NFL Quarterback To Win 5 Super Bowl Rings In Football?Who Kicks The Ball In Football?Who Protects The Quarterback In Football?Who Was The Heaviest NFL Football Player Ever?RulesScrimmage DownsSkillsStatisticsStrategyTeam StaffThe FieldTrophies
  1. Home
  2. American Football
  3. What Happens If A Wide Receiver Misses The Catch In Football?

What Happens If A Wide Receiver Misses The Catch In Football?

Wide Receiver's Role

The wide receiver is the player who specializes in catching passes and running complex routes on the field. He is usually positioned out wide toward the sidelines, hence his name, and makes sharp cuts to evade defenders and run down an open lane for a pass. Oftentimes, wide receivers get put in touchdown scoring situations.

What is an incomplete pass?

Once the football is thrown, the wide receiver must try to catch the ball before his opponent stops him. If the wide receiver misses the ball and it hits the ground, this is called an incomplete pass or incompletion. An incomplete pass is any unsuccessful pass that is not caught by an eligible receiver. So If the wide receiver misses the catch and the ball hits the ground, that means the official will call the pass as incomplete.

Incomplete passes can take many forms:

  • The ball is dropped by a receiver
  • The receiver is out of bounds
  • The receiver does not maintain control, as determined by the referee, before he is down.

Missing The Catch

Unless the play was 4th down, the football would go back to the same spot (line of scrimmage) to start the next down if there is an incomplete pass. If it was 4th down, the possession of the ball would go to the other team for a turnover on downs. Missing a catch can be very discouraging, especially if it's on a 4th down.

Learn More

If you want to learn more about the wide receivers and their roles in football, check out the following resources:

  • Football Receivers
  • Football Pass Plays