Deandre Baker’s New York Giants career certainly didn’t pan out the way many would have hoped. The former Jim Thorpe Award winner and 30th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Baker’s tenure in New York lasted just one season. The cornerback was unceremoniously released in early September due to fallout from an offseason arrest.
Those charges were ultimately dropped and Baker quickly found new life, latching on with the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs as a practice squad signee.
After biding his time, Baker was finally called upon this weekend. With the team opting to rest their top-three cornerbacks, Baker was activated on Saturday and received his first defensive snaps of the season against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
Unfortunately, they will also be his last.
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Deandre Baker Suffers Broken Femur
Early in the third quarter, with the Chargers looking to expand on their 24-14 lead over the Chiefs, rookie phenom Justin Herbert dropped back and took a shot down the right sideline for wide receiver Jalen Guyton. The pass hit the turf, and unfortunately so did Baker. The second-year pro, who was guarding Guyton on the play, fell to the ground untouched, grabbing his leg in great pain.
Main Team Sports shared a clip of the injury to Twitter, which you can see below. (WARNING: Graphic)
DeAndre Baker suffers a severe no-contact leg injury. pic.twitter.com/QGQpq4rigs
— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) January 3, 2021
Baker remained down on the field for an extended period of time before being loaded onto a stretcher. The cornerback pointed to the sky prior to being escorted off the field on a cart.
#Chiefs CB DeAndre Baker was carted off on a stretcher after a gruesome looking injury. Finally got some playing time and now this happens to him. He’s been through a lot.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) January 3, 2021
“My heart goes out to the kid,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Baker, who’s injury has since been deemed a broken left femur. “He busted his tail and really did a nice job for us. He’ll be able to come back from that, so that’s a positive as we go forward.”
“I’m just proud of the way he’s handled himself since he’s been here. He’s been through a tough road here, and he comes in and he really has done a nice job concentrating on playing and he was playing good football. Kind of a freak thing that happened.” Reid added, “I know he’ll rebound from it.”
Baker finished the day logging 44 defensive snaps, compiling four total tackles, one pass break up and his first career sack, the latter of which you see here:
— 준 Jun (@Royals_Jun) January 3, 2021
Best wishes to Baker for a quick and speedy recovery. The 23-year-old still has plenty of football ahead of him.
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Olivier Vernon Done for the Playoffs
Baker wasn’t the only prominent ex-Giants player to suffer a notable injury in the final week of the regular season. While the Cleveland Browns have clinched their first playoff appearance since 2002, they’ll be doing so without the services of one of their most lethal pass rushers.
Defensive end Olivier Vernon ruptured his Achilles on Sunday and will miss the entirety of the playoffs as he undergoes surgery. A former prized free agent get for the Giants, Vernon put forth his second-best statistical season to date in 2020. The nine-year vet tallied 9.0 sacks, 12 tackles for loss and 16 QB hits starring opposite Myles Garrett.
Vernon, 30, is an impending free agent.
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