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Suicide Squad

What is Suicide Squad?

A set of players on a kicking team during a kickoff whose job it is to race down the field and disrupt the opposing team's wedge. The goal of the suicide squad is to break up the primary wave of blockers, making it easier for the rest of the team to pursue and tackle the opposing team's kick returner. This means the suicide squad is often not actively pursuing the returner, but actually trying to occupy as many blockers as possible. Since there are now rules against return teams utilizing a wedge, the suicide squad does not appear as much during games.

Sporting Charts explains Suicide Squad

The suicide squad was the primary tactic teams would use against a return team's wedge. Return teams found it successful to place a set of linked blockers in front of the returner who would cut a swath through the opposing team's coverage unit. So to combat this, teams would send two very fast players down the field as quickly as possible to hurdle themselves into the wedge and eliminate the primary wave of blockers. Since this resulted in large numbers of injuries, many football leagues edited the rules to significantly limit wedges, so this tactic does not occur very often.

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