A slot is a narrow or rectangular opening. It is usually taken up by a running back or wide receiver. However, it can also be a keyway in machinery or an area in which something can happen.
Slot receivers are often used in place of tight ends and fullbacks. These players may be called on to run short routes or slants. They can be lined up on either side of the offensive line or a combination of both. In a typical catch and run game, a slot receiver has the ability to create mismatches downfield, and can also serve as a check-down for the quarterback.
Slot receivers are typically considered wide receivers on depth charts. Often, they can line up on either side of the offensive line, and their passing abilities can be very effective. Their ability to create mismatches can help them prevent the quarterback from being sacked.
Players like Branden Cooks can stretch defenses vertically. Defending teams with multiple slot receivers have to switch formations or bring in additional defensive backs. Depending on the situation, they can also be very effective as a wide receiver.
Slots are important to the functioning of aircraft operations. Using slots helps airlines keep track of air traffic, and can keep delays and repeated delays to a minimum.
Slots are also used to manage air traffic at busy airports. They are activated by a lever. Paper tickets or barcodes are usually used to start the machine. Usually, the paytables are listed on the face of the machine. If a symbol lines up, credits are awarded.