A slot is a thin opening or groove in something, such as an airplane wing. It allows the air to flow through it without obstruction or restriction.
Often used in the context of airport coordination, slots are authorizations for flights to take off or land at certain times during a specified period. They differ from air traffic control clearance, which is an authorization for a specific operation that doesn’t limit the number of flights that can take off at the same time.
In football, slot receivers are wide receivers who line up in the “slot” between and slightly behind the outside wide receivers and offensive linemen. They’re a popular option in today’s NFL, where offenses are running more wide receiver alignments with at least three of them on the field more often.
A slot receiver can be a great asset to an offense because they can run just about every route possible, from the deep to the short and everything in between. They can also block on plays that would be difficult for a fullback or tight end to cover, ensuring the ball carrier makes it down the field.
Slot players tend to be a little shorter and quicker than the traditional wide receivers they compete against, which can make them a difficult target for defenders. In addition, they often have excellent chemistry with their quarterbacks and can be an instant threat when the ball is in their hands.