Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.
Head coach Jonathan Gannon said Monday that Baker’s hamstring strain was severe, but tests revealed the muscle was still intact. Gannon said the Cardinals expect Baker back this season.
“You rally around, you’re never going to replace a Budda Baker,” Gannon said. “But we have guys we feel comfortable that can get the job done and play winning football for us.”
The move to injured reserve means Baker will miss at least four games. He’s eligible to return Oct. 22 at Seattle.
Baker had missed just five games since being drafted by the Cardinals in 2017, including the final two games of the 2022 season with a shoulder injury.
“We missed him a lot,” safety Jalen Thompson said of Baker leaving the loss to the Giants. “That’s our defensive captain right there. It’s always good having him on the field. As a leader he makes sure we are all set and all good. It was a big loss to not have Budda out there but it’s next man up. We have to keep going and keep going hard.”
Part of the collective effort in replacing the Pro Bowl safety, recently elevated practice squad safety Andre Chachere figures more prominently in the defensive game plan.
And to help fill the void, Arizona signed safety Qwuantrezz Knight off of the San Francisco 49ers practice squad.