Arizona Cardinals star Budda Baker was questionable heading into Week 9 due to an ankle injury. He ultimately suited up, though, and looked his normal self with 11 combined tackles.
However, Arizona has now received some disappointing news on Baker following that contest.
Baker's high-ankle sprain is now slated to knock him out for a couple of games, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The insider says there's "hope" the All-Pro safety could return in 2-3 weeks if all goes well.
This is a loss the Cardinals' already-struggling defense simply can't afford. Baker has provided a steady presence all season, playing at least 93% of the snaps in every contest and leading the team with 71 total tackles over the first nine games. His run defense, which has earned him an elite 87.4 grade from ProFootballFocus, will be sorely missed on a unit that's held its own against ground attacks so far.
Baker's absence will now put extra pressure on the likes of Zaven Collins, Isaiah Simmons and fellow safety Jalen Thompson to come up with stops. Chris Banjo is the only other safety on the active roster, though backup Charles Washington is eligible to return from the injured reserve at any point.
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