Cardinals S Budda Baker’s 3 games enough for NFC monthly award

Oct 29, 2020, 7:10 AM | Updated: 7:18 am
Arizona Cardinals strong safety Budda Baker, left, intercepts a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks ...

Arizona Cardinals strong safety Budda Baker, left, intercepts a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson, right, during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Budda Baker missed the first of four October games for the Arizona Cardinals, but the safety made enough of an impact in three wins to make up for it. The NFL named the fourth-year pro the NFC Defensive Player of the Month on Thursday.

He piled up 31 tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss, three QB hits, two passes defensed and a forced fumble — again, in only three games.

Baker missed an Oct. 4 loss to the Carolina Panthers to recover from thumb surgery that had him in a cast the last three weeks. He recorded his first two career interceptions with that cast on.

He is the first NFL player since 2013 to tally at least 30 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble in a calendar month.

On Monday Night Football in Week 6, Baker became the first Arizona player to record a pick and a sack while forcing a fumble since Renaldo Hill did so on Nov. 2, 2003, against the Cincinnati Bengals. After Baker’s strip of Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott and his pick of quarterback Andy Dalton in a 38-10 win, he was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

Baker followed that performance up with another primetime gem of 14 combined tackles and an interception with a 90-yard return on Sunday Night Football in a win against the Seattle Seahawks.

Outside linebacker Chandler Jones, in December 2019, was the last Cardinals player to win NFC Defensive Player of the Month.

Through six games played in Arizona’s 5-2 start, Baker has amassed 59 combined tackles, including an NFL co-leading 48 solo tackles.

Life Changer Loans

Arizona Cardinals

FILE - Green Bay Packers tight end Josiah Deguara, third from right, rides a young fan's bike as th...
Associated Press

NFL looks like old self entering 3rd season in COVID-19 era

The NFL is looking and acting like it's essentially back to normal going into its third season dealing with COVID-19.
1 day ago
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals notebook: QB Kyler Murray weighs in on fake Kyler Murray

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray gave his two cents on a certain impersonation from the rookie talent show.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill. (Tyler Drake / Arizona Sports)...
Kevin Zimmerman

Michael Bidwill looks forward to season, Cardinals’ helmets, Super Bowl LVII

Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill has a bit to look forward to in the coming season.
1 day ago
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals walks across the field before a preseason game against the...
Tyler Drake

Kyler Murray saw different side of football as Cardinals’ guest play caller

Kyler Murray went from good teammate to the man in charge of calling plays in the Cardinals' preseason win over the Bengals.
1 day ago
Head coach Kliff Kingbury of the Arizona Cardinals participants in a team training camp at State Fa...
Dan Bickley

Kliff Kingsbury biggest winner of Cardinals’ start to preseason

Dan Bickley writes that Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury is the biggest winner out of the team's preseason win over the Bengals.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Greg Dortch (83) runs in the first quarter against the Arizona Card...
Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals’ Greg Dortch determined to prove he belongs in NFL

After a murky start to his NFL career, Cardinals WR Greg Dortch is making the most of his opportunities this offseason.
2 days ago
Cardinals S Budda Baker’s 3 games enough for NFC monthly award