(used with a plural verb) the members of the team who, on offense, are stationed behind the linemen and, on defense, behind the linebackers.
their positions considered as a unit.
the area where the backs play.
Contemporary Examples

A hulking defender breaks into the backfield and takes him down with a vicious clothesline tackle.
Two New Films Preach Our Nation’s Corrosive Gridiron Gospel Steve Almond September 19, 2014

Historical Examples

Tim Otis had a remarkably good day and was undeniably the best man in the backfield for the home team.
Left Guard Gilbert Ralph Henry Barbour

“Two in the line and two in the backfield is good,” jeered Tim.
Left Guard Gilbert Ralph Henry Barbour

Dick had been busily engaged in making up his line and backfield.
The Grammar School Boys of Gridley H. Irving Hancock

Suddenly Stover, in the backfield, watching like a cat, started forward with a cry.
Stover at Yale Owen Johnson

You can start if you like and Dannis had better run them: and well keep Wirt in the backfield.
Center Rush Rowland Ralph Henry Barbour

He was a backfield man and one of West Point’s main line backers.
Football Days William H. Edwards

You see our backfield was pretty light and the wet field slowed them up.
Left Half Harmon Ralph Henry Barbour

The backfield coach has the picking of men for their positions.
Football Days William H. Edwards

Then—it is a fake-kick; the backfield lines up in the kick formation, but the ball is passed to Butch, at your right.
T. Haviland Hicks Senior J. Raymond Elderdice

noun (American football)
(sometimes functioning as pl) the backfield, the quarterback and running backs in a team
the area behind the line of scrimmage from which the backfield begin each play


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