Cardinals activate Budda Baker and Garrett Williams, both expected to play Sunday
Oct 21, 2023, 12:31 PM | Updated: 1:41 pm
(Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
The Cardinals activated safety Budda Baker and cornerback Garrett Williams for Sunday’s game at Seattle, according to the team.
Williams was activated from the Non-Football Injury List after suffering an ACL injury in college last October. The rookie out of Syracuse is expected to make his NFL debut against the Seahawks.
The Cardinals also elevated cornerback Bobby Price and running back Damien Williams from the practice squad for a second straight week.
The Cardinals’ secondary gets a mighty boost after cornerback Antonio Hamilton was ruled out with a groin injury. Hamilton left during the second half of the Cardinals’ loss to the Rams and hasn’t been able to practice this week.
Baker, the two-time All-Pro safety, has been out since Week 2’s defeat against the Giants due to a hamstring injury picked up in practice the Friday before. Baker was placed on injured reserve the following Monday. Coach Jonathan Gannon confirmed at the time Baker did not tear his hamstring.
The Cardinals missed the veteran safety for the last five games, in which the team went 1-4. Baker had to miss at least four games before returning from IR, as retroactive games do not count. That included the win against the Cowboys before losses against the 49ers, Bengals and Rams.
Prior to picking up the injury, the seventh-year player had missed only five games in his career and the Cardinals were winless in those games.
With the designation, the Cardinals had 21 days to activate Baker (hamstring) off injured reserve at any time. Baker returned to the practice field on Wednesday.
Arizona has since lost fellow starting safety Jalen Thompson, who appeared in the first five games but sat out beginning in the Week 6 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Against Los Angeles, safeties K’Von Wallace and Andre Chachere played all of the defensive snaps, while special teamer Joey Blount earned 10 defensive snaps.
The Cardinals had used Wallace as a third safety heavily in Week 1, the only game with a healthy starting duo. Wallace played 50 snaps alongside Baker and Thompson in the season opener.
Baker, who had a contractual dispute with the team during the offseason, ultimately came to an agreement with the Cardinals and appeared to be bought in to leading the defensive unit this season.
He is coming off a 111-tackle season with two interceptions and seven pass deflections last year with Arizona.