Budda Baker hoping to play vs. Seahawks: ‘It’ll be a game-time decision’

Oct 20, 2023, 7:47 AM

TEMPE — Entering the season, Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker built an Iron Man status. He’d missed a five total games throughout the course of six hard-hitting NFL seasons.

Just six games into Year 7, though, and three-time All-Pro has doubled the number of missed games due to an upper hamstring injury that forced the safety to the injured reserve list in Week 3.

Now back practicing following his designation to return on Wednesday, the safety is doing whatever he can to play back home against the Seattle Seahawks and most importantly, avoid missing a sixth straight game.

But while he’s itching to get back, Baker isn’t getting too far ahead of himself with just two days of limited practice under his belt this week and an original prognosis of six or more weeks before his hamstring would be “OK” to a return.

“We’re playing Seattle, going back home, definitely something I wanted to get back for and be ready to play,” Baker said Thursday. “Right now, I’m just taking it day by day and seeing how everything holds up and it’ll be a game-time decision.”

Baker’s way back to the starting lineup begins by getting a week of practice in with no setbacks and preferably a full day of work.

If he can check those boxes, a weekend activation ahead of Sunday’s tilt is certainly in the cards.

And as we’ve learned over the years, never count out Budda.

Respect going both ways

Baker may have been stuck watching from home or the sidelines while working to get back from his hamstring injury, but that didn’t stop him from seeing the continued improvement the organization is making from a cultural standpoint.

It’s a refreshing sight for the safety.

“Very excited,” Baker said. “(Jonathan Gannon’s) a coach who preaches the same things I believe in, so that’s very special to have with this being my fourth coaching staff here. I tell him all the time how much I respect him and all the coaches.

“It’s been a great culture change and a true blessing for me to be a part of. I’m very excited to be a Cardinal and just going to continue to work hard and continue to be the best that I can be for the team.”

Presented By
Western Governors University
Owen Pappoe at practice Cameron Thomas at practice Jesse Luketa at practice Robert Rodriguez during practice Damien Williams at practice Blake Gillikin at practice Roy Lopez at practice Bobby Price at practice Marco Wilson at practice Garrett Williams at practice Nick Rallis at practice Jonathan Ledbetter at practice Garrett Williams at practice Dennis Daley at practice Ben Stille at practice

Cardinals Corner

Cardinals celebrate in Pittsburgh...

Tyler Drake

Victory over Steelers a blueprint for Arizona Cardinals to follow

The Steelers have been a model of consistency for quite some time. On Sunday, though, it was the Cardinals looking like the complete team.

5 hours ago

Arizona Cardinals DT Jonathan Ledbetter...

Tyler Drake

Jonathan Ledbetter named Cardinals’ 2023 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year

The Arizona Cardinals named defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter as their Walter Payton Man of the Year for 2023 on Tuesday.

14 hours ago

Monti Ossenfort helps out during practice...

Tyler Drake

2024 NFL Draft order: Cardinals enter bye week in possession of No. 3 pick

The Cardinals enter the bye with the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. A look at Arizona's road ahead and the draft implications it brings.

1 day ago

James Conner celebrates TD...

Arizona Sports

Rapid reactions: Cardinals stun Steelers in dominant Week 13 win

Arizona Sports' hosts, editors and reporters break down what they saw in the Cardinals' third win of the year.

2 days ago

James Conner runs the rock...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals fight through weather delays, Steelers for upset win in Week 13

Despite weather delays and a playoff-caliber Steelers team, it was the Cardinals that walked out of Pittsburgh with the win.

2 days ago

Cardinals Kyler Murray looks on...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ Week 13 tilt vs. Steelers resumes after 2nd weather delay

The Cardinals' Week 13 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers has resumed following its second weather delay of the game.

2 days ago

Budda Baker hoping to play vs. Seahawks: ‘It’ll be a game-time decision’