What is a strip in football?

A strip in football is a play in which a defensive player is able to cause the ball carrier to fumble the football. The term strip in football is another way of saying forced fumble.

The action of stripping an offensive player is one of the best plays a defender can make. When a player is stripped of the football the ball becomes live and any player on the field can grab it.

If a player on the defense is able to collect the loose ball they will then gain possession of the football. If a player strips the ball and the offense recovers it is still considered a strip.

Strip sacks is another football term that is commonly used. A strip-sack refers to when a defensive player is able to sack the quarterback and generate a fumble.

Which positions get strips in football?

Now that you know what a strip is in football you may be wondering how they come about. Below we will break down the top positions when it comes to stripping the football.

Defensive End

The position most likely to generate strips in football is the defensive end position. This position lines up on the end of the defensive line allowing them to go one on one against the offensive tackles.

These players will rush the quarterback on almost every passing play giving them plenty of opportunities to get to strip-sack.

If the defensive end is able to get around the offensive tackle then they will be able to get to the quarterback. The defensive end on the quarterback’s blindside is often able to lay out the quarterback as they may not see them coming.

Hits from the blindside are much more likely to generate strips due to the quarterback not protecting the ball.

Outside Linebacker

Another defensive position that often generates strips is the outside linebacker. Outside linebackers are involved in the pass rush as well as the run defense.

When rushing the passer the outside linebacker has a chance to get an unblocked shot on the quarterback on some blitzes.

They also may play a similar pass-rushing role to a defensive end depending on which formation the defense is using.

On rushing plays, the outside linebackers are often going to be given the assignment of tackling the ball carrier.

On these plays, it is common for them to swing a punch at the ball in an attempt to strip it from them. Most times the ball carriers can hold onto the ball but if contacted right a punch can easily generate a fumble.


Safety is another position that can generate strips in football. On passing, plays safeties will often be the second player to tackle the receiver catching the ball.

As the cornerback looks to bring the receiver down the safety is often able to use this opportunity to try and pry the ball out of the hands of the receiver.

This can be done by ripping the ball out after getting a grip on it or by punching similar to what defensive linemen and linebackers often do.

Oftentimes safeties will pry the balls loose too quickly resulting in an incomplete pass.

That is all on strips in football to learn more check out our guides to blitzing the quarterback in football or pass rushing in general.

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