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Budda Baker Plays Through The Pain

Second-year safety intent on fighting through knee injury

Budda Baker's balky left knee speaks to him at night.

"There are definitely some times you get out of bed to do something really fast and it'll stop you, like, 'Nah, hold on, wait a second, you can't do this right now,'" Baker said.

The second-year safety then talks back, telling his knee to deal with it.

Baker is on a 3-9 football team, and it would be easy for him to be cautious with the injury. Instead, he has twice returned to a game – against the Chiefs and Sunday in Green Bay – after getting hurt.

Baker sat out practice on Wednesday, but rest assured, he will do everything in his power to play on Sunday against the Lions.

"Ever since I was little, even playing in the backyard with older siblings and my cousins, you always wanted to play with them and have fun," Baker said. "This is a game I've been playing since I was a kid. The opportunity to play this game at the highest level, I of course want to be there at all times."

Baker's toughness and passion for the game can't be questioned, but it is clear when talking to him that the knee injury is pretty severe. When asked how it felt on Monday after the game, Baker said, "Oh, man. It felt like you think it would feel."

He credited the trainers for their work helping him recover, and Baker is hoping to get healthy soon so he can stop rising from bed like an old man.

"I'm only 22," Baker said. "I hope I've got a couple more years left."

S Budda Baker was helped off the field against the Packers but later returned
S Budda Baker was helped off the field against the Packers but later returned