What does De-cleated mean in football?

Struck with a lot of force

When you hear the term ‘de-cleated’ in a football context, it refers to a player being hit hard during a game. The impact of the hit is so forceful that it often lifts the player’s feet off the ground momentarily, creating an impression that they’ve been knocked out of their cleats.

This term is usually associated with defensive players who de-cleat offensive players. A classic scenario could involve a defensive back (DB) preparing to de-cleat a wide receiver (WR) who’s just caught a pass and is running across the field. The DB’s goal is to complete the tackle, potentially disrupt the pass, or even cause a fumble.

However, it’s not just defensive players who can de-cleat. Offensive players can also get in on the action. For instance, a tight end (TE) might assist an offensive lineman in blocking a defensive end who’s rushing the quarterback, causing the defensive player to be de-cleated.

Even though the term de-cleat is predominantly used in football, it can also apply to other full-contact sports. Rugby, for example, is a sport where players might de-cleat one another during the course of a game thanks to their rigorous and tough hits.

Example for using ‘De-cleated’ in a conversation

Did you see that football game last night? The hits were insane! 🏈

Yeah, I know! One player got totally de-cleated on that tackle! 😱

I couldn’t believe it! He went flying! πŸš€

I know, right? It was like he got hit out of his cleats! 🀯