A pass play in football in which the quarterback feigns a long pass and instead throws a short pass to a receiver who has slipped behind the onrushing defensive line.
The strategy behind a screen pass is to take advantage of the opposing team's aggressive defense. A screen is typically called when the offense's quarterback is constantly being pressured-usually again a team frequently sends blitzes.
In a typical screen pass, the quarterback drops back for a long pass while the running back moves into the flat. Simultaneously, the offensive line will release and allow the opposing defense to pass unimpeded to the quarterback. At this point, the quarterback throws or shovels a short pass to the running back with one or more of the offensive line ahead as blockers.
Other varieties of the screen pass involving wide receivers include the bubble screen, middle screen, slip screen and slot screen.