TEMPE, Ariz. — After starting the week with a 0% chance of playing this weekend, Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker returned to practice Friday and was later listed as questionable for the Sunday game against the Los Angeles Rams.
Coach Kliff Kingsbury said Friday that he was told Baker, who injured his right ankle more in last weekend’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks, didn’t have a chance to play early in the week. Baker didn’t practice this week until Friday.
“We’ll see how he progresses the next couple days,” Kingsbury said. “But, I mean, he’s a special human and wanted to be out there today.”
Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray also was listed as questionable against the Rams and will be a game-time decision, Kingsbury said. Murray injured a hamstring against the Seahawks and was limited the past two days.
“We want to see how he is moving around and make sure he’s able to do what he can do if we’re going to put him out there,” Kingsbury said.
Murray has been able to throw and go through his drops during practice, Kingsbury said, but the coach will want to see if Murray can take off and run without issue. If Murray has to stay in the pocket, he can do that, Kingsbury said.
“If he has to run around, he has that ability obviously, but he can get it done a bunch of different ways,” Kingsbury said.
“We don’t want him to feel any sort of pressure to not run or not play his game to an extent and so we’ll make sure that he feels fully comfortable if we’re going to put him out there on Sunday and we won’t know until we get out there and run him around game day.”
The status of Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, who’s also questionable for Sunday because he’s still in the concussion protocol, won’t affect the Cardinals’ approach to Murray, Kingsbury said.
The Cardinals will also monitor cornerback Byron Murphy Jr., who didn’t practice this week because of a back injury but was still listed as questionable, Kingsbury said.
When it comes to Baker, who didn’t practice two of the three days because of an ankle injury last week, the Cardinals will be careful not to rush him back. Kingsbury hasn’t seen many players play with the type of “reckless abandon” that Baker plays with.
“We want to make sure that we feel like they can play at 100% or close to it in his case and not really injure it further that could keep him out an extended period of time,” Kingsbury said. “So, we’ll be really smart [the] next couple days and see how it progresses.”