ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals’ Budda Baker cleared to play in Pro Bowl after shoulder injury

Feb 5, 2023, 9:05 AM

Budda Baker #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks on before the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at A...

Budda Baker #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks on before the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on September 18, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

A fractured shoulder kept Arizona Cardinals star safety Budda Baker sidelined during the final two games of the regular season, but he has been cleared to play in the Pro Bowl flag football games on Sunday.

Baker, who earned a trip to his fifth career Pro Bowl in six seasons, told NFL.com he was definitely going to suit up.

The recently-turned 27-year-old was the only Cardinal to make the Pro Bowl after a dubious 4-13 season.

He participated in the water balloon toss portion of the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown on Thursday.

Despite missing time, Baker led Arizona in combined tackles with 111 and was one of three players with multiple interceptions (two) along with Marco Wilson (three) and Isaiah Simmons (two).

Baker sprained his ankle — as documented on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” — in Week 9 against the Seattle Seahawks but played through it the following Sunday. In that game against the Los Angeles Rams, Baker picked off L.A. quarterback John Wolford in the fourth quarter to solidify what would be Arizona’s final win of the season.

Baker also told NFL.com he’s aware significant changes could be coming to the defense for 2023 with a new head coach coming to town.

“My job is to just kinda wait on that and go from there,” Baker said. “Hopefully our whole defense isn’t going to be taken away, but we know with new head coaches usually they bring in their people.”

The Cardinals will continue their head coaching search into next week with second interview reportedly scheduled with multiple candidates.

The final day of Pro Bowl festivities kicks off Sunday at 1 p.m. ahead of Super Bowl week in Arizona.

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