Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl safety Budda Baker says he knew the team was in trouble right away in Week 1 after they were blown out 44-21 by the Kansas City Chiefs.
“You know in training camp it was definitely startling to not see a lot of the starters practicing and stuff like that. Cause I knew, you know especially with the preseason games none of us played in the preseason, it’s kinda just going through training camp, which was not a lot of people, and then we get to Week 1, it showed who was prepared. I don’t think we were as prepared in the beginning of when it all started than what we could’ve been.” – Budda Baker, NFL.com.
Baker’s play stood out among the Cardinals’ struggles as he tallied a team-high 111 tackles in 15 games to go with a pair of interceptions and seven passes defended. He earned a fifth career Pro Bowl selection and exemplified toughness by playing through a high ankle sprain that was expected to sideline him for multiple weeks, but forced him to miss no time.
Ultimately, a shoulder fracture in Week 16 forced Baker to miss the final two games of the season, but he’s been cleared to participate in Sunday’s Pro Bowl Games and intends to do so.
The 2022 Cardinals dealt with injuries, poor play, and the eventual demise of the Kliff Kingsbury era in Arizona. They wound up going 4-13.
The Cardinals have yet to hire a new Head Coach, so Baker and the rest of the team will to wait and see what the future brings.
Budda Baker of the Arizona Cardinals. Photo courtsey of Chris Unger/Getty Images