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Budda Baker Active Against Lions, But Surgery Coming

How many games safety could miss -- if any -- is unknown

Safety Budda Baker, his right thumb wrapped, plays against the Lions Sunday at State Farm Stadium.
Safety Budda Baker, his right thumb wrapped, plays against the Lions Sunday at State Farm Stadium.

It wasn't who is inactive Sunday for the Cardinals but rather who was active -- at least this week -- that made for the biggest storyline.

Safety Budda Baker played. But the NFL Network reported early Sunday morning that Baker has a ligament tear in his thumb and that the Pro Bowler plans to have surgery this week after the game against the Lions.

Baker was on the injury report this week with the thumb problem, but practiced full every day.

Coach Kliff Kingsbury only said that Baker would have a "procedure here very soon."

According to NFL Network, the hope is that Baker would miss just one game -- next week in Carolina -- before returning, likely with a protective cast of some sort.

Baker was the Cardinals' best player on defense Sunday, with a team-high eight tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass defensed.

The Cardinals are already down their other starting safety. Jalen Thompson is on injured reserve with an ankle injury. The earliest he could return would be just before the game following Carolina, in New York against the Jets. The Cards had signed veteran safety Curtis Riley when Thompson went on IR.

Chris Banjo has been starting for Thompson, but Banjo left the Lions game early with a hamstring injury and did not return. The Cards also have Deionte Thompson and Charles Washington, the latter of whom is mostly a special-teams ace.

In the meantime, Baker played against the Lions. Among those inactive included running back Eno Benajmin, with Saturday callup Jonathan Ward, also a rookie like Benjamin, is active. That's a likely nod toward Ward's ability to play special teams. The Cards were looking for someone in that role after D.J. Foster hurt his quadriceps last week.

The entire inactive list:

  • QB Brett Hundley
  • WR Christian Kirk (groin)
  • C Mason Cole (hamstring)
  • RB Eno Benjamin
  • OL Joshua Miles
  • DT Leki Fotu