Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker expects to fully recover from a frightening head injury sustained Monday night in the team’s playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Baker was pinned down and carried off the field in the third quarter following a collision with Rams running back Cam Akers, and the team announced he was ruled out with a concussion. Although he moved his hand before leaving the pitch, there was obvious concern for his well-being among both teams as he was carried away. Baker, however, offered a smile and some encouraging words via social media.
“Thank you for all the good wishes and prayers from everyone,” Baker said Tuesday in a video posted to his Instagram account. “Thank you guys. Everything went well. I’m going to make a full recovery, so definitely blessed. I’m thrilled to be out of this hospital and going back to Arizona. I haven’t been able to shower, I still stink and I’m just ready to go home and be with my family. I love you guys, I appreciate you always sending love.”
Baker was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Monday evening and was alert with movement in her extremities, according to team medical staff. The team said Tuesday that Baker stayed overnight for continued evaluation, imaging and testing before being cleared by doctors. Safety was released from the hospital Tuesday morning and returned to Arizona.
One of the team’s emotional leaders and best players, Baker was named to his third straight Pro Bowl after posting a career-high 98 tackles and three interceptions this season. He had four tackles against the Rams in the 34-11 loss. It’s been a bitter end to the season for the Cardinals, but more importantly, one of the most respected players in the team’s locker room appears to have avoided serious injury.