The final wild-card round game of the season between the Rams and Cardinals took a frightening turn late in the third quarter. Cardinals safety Budda Baker was knocked unconscious after taking a blow to the head and needed to be carted off the field.
Baker went down after tackling Rams running back Cam Akers, taking a shoulder to the side of the head. His Arizona teammates immediately saw he wasn’t conscious and signaled for trainers to come onto the field.
Baker could be seen moving his arms before the cart left for the locker room. He was diagnosed with a concussion and ruled out for the remainder of the game, with the Cardinals announcing via Twitter that he maintained feeling and movement in all of his extremities.
Akers could be seen making what appeared to be a taunting gesture toward Baker after the hit, though he likely was unaware of Baker’s injury. He later expressed concern for Baker as he was being tended to by medical staff, and urged teammates to take a knee, per Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic.
Baker, 26, was a second-team All-Pro selection this year and was selected for the Pro Bowl for the fourth time in his career. A second-round selection in 2017, Baker has spent his entire career with Arizona. He recorded four tackles against the Rams on Monday night.
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