Baker played most of his snaps as a strong safety and slot cornerback in 2018, allowing him to pile up 102 tackles (78 solo) and two sacks in 14 games. He expects to have more interception chances playing further away from the line of scrimmage, but his role change could leave fellow safety D.J. Swearinger as the more reliable IDP option in the Arizona secondary.
Baker compiled 102 tackles (78 solo), two sacks, two fumble recoveries (one for a touchdown) and one forced fumble in 14 games during the 2018 season.
Since locking down a starting role at strong safety in Week 11 of his rookie year in 2017, Baker has averaged 7.4 tackles per game across his 20 starts, which translates to a shade over 118 for a 16-game slate. The preceding includes sitting out Weeks 11 and 12 of this season with a knee injury and being listed on Cardinals practice reports for the final five weeks. With renewed health in 2019, Baker again will be an IDP consideration in most formats.
Baker (knee) is active for Sunday's contest against the Falcons, Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com reports.
Baker returned to practice in a limited fashion Thursday and Friday after failing to participate Wednesday, so he'll be healthy enough to start at strong safety next to Antoine Bethea.
Baker was unable to practice Wednesday but managed to practice in a limited capacity Thursday and Friday. The Washington product was able to play through the injury last week en route to four tackles (solo), a forced fumble and a fumble recovery over 47 defensive snaps. If Baker isn't able to suit up, Rudy Ford would be next in line for work in the secondary.
According to Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com, Baker completed a pregame warmup, after which he must have gained clearance from the Cardinals' training staff in order to play. While he put in just one limited practice during Week 14 prep, Baker shouldn't have a problem earning snaps in a secondary that regularly uses five (or more) defensive backs. On the season, he's averaged eight tackles per game while tallying one defensive touchdown.
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