INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker was taken off the field on a stretcher after a violent collision late in the third quarter of Monday night’s NFC wild-card game against the Los Angeles Rams.
He was ruled out of the game with a concussion but did have movement and feeling in his extremities as he was carted off the field.
The Cardinals later said he was taken to the hospital for further evaluation and was alert and communicative. Coach Kliff Kingsbury, speaking after his team’s 34-11 loss, said he didn’t know if Baker was staying in the hospital overnight.
Baker hit Rams running back Cam Akers with 1:51 left in the third quarter around the Cardinals’ 5-yard-line. He lowered his head and left shoulder before hitting Akers’ knee.
Baker fell to the ground, and almost instantly Cardinals linebacker Jordan Hicks was waving to the sideline for help.
“It was just a football play,” Akers said. “It wasn’t nothing personal. I’ve got the utmost respect for Budda and that team.”
Baker, 26, named to his fourth Pro Bowl this season, had 98 tackles and three interceptions in the regular season. He is a 2017 second-round pick out of Washington.