Who Catches The Ball In Football?

Who catches the ball in football

In football, there are several different positions that get to catch the ball. Some catch it more than others. This piece will break down some of those positions that catch the ball!

Wide Receiver

football Wide Receiver

The wide receiver in football is often the designated position that catches the football. Their main job is to catch the ball from the quarterback, advance it down the field, and score touchdowns. There are usually at least two on the field during each offensive play and they run a pass pattern trying to get open. Receivers typically get the most catches out of all the positions. 

Tight End

football Tight End

Along with the wide receiver, the tight end is a designated pass-catcher on the football team, meaning that is their main objective. Tight ends line up right next to the offensive line and, while sometimes used as blockers, are mainly on the field to catch passes.

Running Back

football Running Backs

The running back can also catch passes but usually as a 'last resort' checkdown option. They sometimes leak out of the backfield to catch a screen or short pass to help their quarterback just get rid of the ball. 

In recent years running backs have adapted to become better pass catchers. Players like Alvin Kamara and Tarik Cohen have been given more of a responsibility in the passing game. They run routes just like receivers and create mismatches with defenders due to their elusiveness and speed.


football Quarterbacks

The quarterback is also an eligible receiver on the team. Players in the backfield or lined up equal to the line of scrimmage are eligible receivers, but offensive linemen are considered ineligible.

Quarterbacks catch the ball either in a trick play or off of a tip. If the quarterback throws it and the defensive line bats it back, the quarterback can catch it and run with it. They are then credited with a pass completion and a reception. Trick plays sometimes have the running back take the snap or involve a lateral pass, but in either situation, the ball can end up back in the quarterback’s hands after a pass.

Defensive Back

football Defensive Back

Defenders are never the intended receivers on a play however they sometimes end up catching the ball. In the event the quarterback throws an inaccurate pass, the defender is allowed to catch it, in what is known as an interception.  

Return Men

The punt and kickoff returners must catch the ball once it is kicked. Both positions catch the kickoff or punt and then try to return it for a touchdown