University of Washington

Budda Baker takes some ‘friendly fire,’ but Huskies hope he can play this weekend

One night after colliding in violent, unintentional fashion with his own teammate — a hit that knocked him out of Washington’s 34-23 loss to Utah — Huskies safety Budda Baker showed a sense of humor.

On Sunday night, he tweeted: “Friendly Fire.”

That’s a term the Huskies use frequently, especially with safety Jojo McIntosh now patrolling the defensive backfield. The 6-foot, 196-pound redshirt freshman has earned a reputation as one of UW’s hardest hitters, and is sometimes so aggressive in practice that coaches have to tell him to ease up a bit.

In the first quarter of Saturday’s game, Baker applied a solid tackle to Utah receiver Britain Covey. About a split-second later, McIntosh flew in with an even nastier hit, one that also caught Baker.

Covey and McIntosh got up right away. Baker stayed down, and when he eventually walked off the field with a few members of UW’s training staff, he appeared dazed.

Baker sat out the rest of the game with an apparent head injury, and must clear standard concussion protocol if he is to play on Saturday at Arizona State.

So, yes. Friendly fire.

“That’s a term we use, because the guys play really extremely hard and we’re all attacking the football, and when you’re around the football and you get hit by your own teammate, we call that friendly fire,” defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake said.

“Especially when Jojo’s coming to the pile, you better know where Jojo’s at. The corners know that. You’ve got to know, especially when (Ezekiel Turner’s) out there, and even Budda, you’ve got to know when those guys are coming and hunting that you’re going to get hit. It happens all the time. … It’s just part of football, it’s just kind of a freak deal. But hopefully we’ll get Budda back this week.”

Lake said waiting out the concussion protocol is probably “extremely tough” for Baker, who already fought through an ankle sprain that forced him to sit out one game.

“But knowing him,” Lake said, “I know he’ll do everything in his power to make sure he’s ready to go for this weekend.”

Christian Caple: 253-597-8437


SATURDAY: UW (4-5, 2-4 Pac-12) at Arizona St. (4-5, 2-4), noon, Pac-12 Network, 1000-AM, 97.7-FM