On November 18, the Arizona Cardinals were without a prominent piece to their defense at practice.
All-Pro safety Budda Baker was absent from practice with a heel injury. Baker’s downgraded status is a bit alarming due to the fact he was limited on November 17 with the same injury.
ALL the latest Cardinals news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Cardinals newsletter here!
Baker has yet to miss a game in 2021, but the 25-year-old did have a concussion and knee injury prior to Week 10 against the Panthers.
Last season, Baker’s thumb injury kept him out for a game, in which they lost to the Panthers. Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph on November 12 spoke about how important Baker’s presence is to the Cardinals.
“When you don’t have Budda, you don’t realize how many plays he keeps from being big plays,” said Joseph said. “I think JT (Jalen Thompson) is like that. When those guys aren’t out there, when those runs pop, and they are six and seven-yard runs when Budda and JT are on the field, they go for 20 and 30. Not having Budda last year (in Carolina), we realized quickly when things were not going well, he can make bad plays better for us, and that’s what good safeties do.”
Baker has two interceptions along with 59 tackles and is paired with Jalen Thompson, who’s been an under-the-radar contributor on defense.
This situation will be monitored as the Cardinals take on the Seattle Seahawks before heading into the bye week.
As for the rest of the injury report for November 18, the list was lengthy.
Cardinals Injury Report
For the second straight day, star quarterback Kyler Murray (ankle) and veteran quarterback Colt McCoy (pectoral) was limited in practice on Thursday.
No DeAndre Hopkins either, who hasn’t practiced for the last two weeks with a hamstring injury. Starting left guard Justin Pugh missed Week 10 with a calf injury and remains out of practice.
17 players hit the injury report on November 18. The Cardinals desperately need to escape Seattle without any new injuries.
Veteran defensive lineman Corey Peters (shoulder) and linebacker Tanner Vallejo (knee) also didn’t participate. Vallejo played more snaps than rookie linebacker Zaven Collins.
The Cardinals are 5-0 on the road for the season and lead the league in road point differential. They seem like a different specimen on the road and with a potential No. 1 seed at grasps, Zach Ertz understands how important the soon-to-be bye week is.
“The bye is the biggest thing to me,” Ertz said. “If you’re able to be one of the best teams in the league and have a bye week, you only have to win two games, and you’re in the Super Bowl. Compared to going on the road and playing three. But we’re not focused on that. We have to continue to get better. There is a lot of football left to play.”
Seahawks Injury Report
Seattle got back All-Pro QB Russell Wilson in Week 10 after missing several weeks with a finger injury. Unfortunately for them, they were shutout to the Packers in Lambeau Field. They’re 3-6 and need a win desperately.
Pro Bowl receiver D.K. Metcalf returned to practice after missing November 18 practice with a foot injury. But starting running back Chris Carson is still unable to practice after being designated to return from IR last week.
On top of that, backup running back Alex Collins didn’t practice due to a groin issue.
The Seahawks have just one less player on their injury report than the Cardinals. Both teams are clearly treading water in the injury department.