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Budda Baker’s Timely Retribution

Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Mike Christy/Getty Images

Background: GLENDALE, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 25:Safety Budda Baker #3 of the Arizona Cardinals forces a fumble by running back Cam Akers #3 of the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth quarter of the game at State Farm Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. Photo by Mike Christy/Getty Images.

One of the most disappointing aspects of the Cardinals’ 20-12 loss to the Los Angeles Rams was watching Rams’ RB Cam Akers take over the game in the 4th quarter similarly to how he took over the Rams’ 34-11 playoff route of the Cardinal last January.

Back in that playoff game, you might recall that Cardinals All-Pro safety Budda Baker was knocked out while making a tackle on Cam Akers. After the tackle, unaware yet that Baker was unconscious, Akers appeared to be taunting Baker.

For Cardinals’ coaches, players and fans to watch Budda Baker lie motionless on the field for those excruciating seconds and then watch him get strapped to a gurney and lifted into a LA area ambulance, was one of the scariest and devastating moments imaginable.

Fortunately, Budda had never lost motion in any of his extremities and was treated for a severe concussion. After a night in the hospital, he was released.

Cam Akers made his peace with Budda Baker afterward. Akers explained that he didn’t realize that Baker was hurt and when he saw that Baker was, he urged his teammate to take a knee and pray.

After the game, Akers tweeted:

Knowing Budda Baker as well as we do, we know that he graciously accepted Cam Aker’s apology...but, of course, we also know that Budda Baker didn’t forget.

While it could have been a happier scenario of the Cardinals’ defense as a whole did a better job of preventing Cam Akers from spearheading the Rams’ 4th quarter TD drive (12 carries for 61 yards, a 5.1 average and 1 TD) and the Cardinals had somehow pulled off another late game miracle like they did in Las Vegas, Budda Baker, with the help of his teammates (Jalen Thompson, Michael Dogbe and Tanner Vallejo in particular), was able to arrive on the football at the precise time that Akers was trying to hoist it over the goal line. The hit jarred the ball loose loose and it was recovered by the Cardinals, much to Budda Baker’s and his teammates’ delight!

The NFL took notice, as well.

Exacting retribution (aka “payback”)........

This is how winners do it.