An offensive play in which an eligible receiver lines up on the wide side of the field and cuts quickly towards the quarterback immediately after the snap to receive a pass. The offense will attempt to get a series of blockers out in front of the receiver so that the player can gain yards after the catch. The bubble screen is considered a quick hit play, and is used to get the ball in the hands of a quick player as fast as possible.
The bubble screen has gained popularity as a way to utilize fast and agile players on the outside of the field. Unlike a normal screen, in which a running back receives a short pass with offensive linemen blocking in front of them, the bubble screen uses a wide receiver receiving a pass behind a wall of offensive players lined up wide, often other receivers and tight ends. The bubble screen can be a highly effective play at speeding up the pace of the game and giving a fast player a chance to break a big play.