Football Terms – Runner – Running Back
In the game of football, the ball carrier is referred to as anyone with the ball in their hands at that moment. While this most often refers to a running back or wide receiver, it might also refer to a defensive back or linebacker in the case of a fumble or interception.
Some of the most talented ball carriers in NFL history include:
- Walter Payton – Nicknamed “Sweetness,” Payton retired from the Chicago Bears as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. During his career, he had 10 season with at least 1,000 yards and 77 games with at least 100 yards rushing.
- Barry Sanders – In his 10 seasons with the hapless Detroit Lions, Sanders rushed for over 1,000 yards each year. He also became the third player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. Incredibly elusive, Sanders made more than one defender look foolish during his historic NFL career.
- Jim Brown – Still considered by many to be the best-ever NFL ball carrier, Jim Brown retired at the age of 30 to pursue a movie career. He finished his career with 12,312 rushing yards and never missed a game in nine seasons with the Cleveland Browns.
- O.J. Simpson – Despite his infamy in recent years, “The Juice” was once an elite ball carrier for the Buffalo Bills. He was the first player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards, and he did it during the days of the 14-game season.