Covid-19 is impacting the NBA season once again. The Chicago Bulls’ next two games – Tuesday, December 14 at home against the Detroit Pistons and Thursday, December 16, at Toronto, were postponed, marking the first time that games in the 2021-22 season have been rescheduled due to to the coronavirus. Ten Bulls players and staff members are currently on NBA health and safety protocols, including stars Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan.
“Maybe something is due to the vaccination, we have guys sitting at home with no symptoms right now,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said.
While the Bulls have at least eight players available, the minimum required to play, sources told ESPN that the Chicago Department of Public Health was concerned that the Bulls would continue with their game schedule this week and that played a role in the decision. of the NBA.
No rescheduling dates were announced and for now, the Bulls’ next game is scheduled for Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers at home.
To prevent postponements, Chicago resorted to hiring some players under the NBA’s hardship exemption, which gives teams permission to temporarily exceed the 15-man roster limit if several are out due to an injury. injury or illness. However, on December 9 they signed Stanley Johnson and just two days later, the forward entered the league’s health and safety protocols.
According to a record published by CBS Sports, as of December 13 there are 24 players on the roster, with Paul Millsap of the Brooklyn Nets and Alize Johnson of the Chicago Bulls out until at least December 23. On other teams, Grizzlies star Ja Morant entered protocols despite already being out indefinitely with a sprained knee. Also Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle and Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri.
After a player tests positive for the virus, they must isolate themselves from the team for 10 days or submit two negative PCR tests in a 24-hour period before they can return to action.
The league postponed 32 games due to coronavirus-related issues last season, but had not postponed any games this season until Monday.
The variant calls into question the closure of the NFL
The NFL, which is about to enter its final four weeks, conducted about 37 Covid tests that came back positive, the number is one of the highest since the league’s activity resumed. Most teams evaluate their players and staff once a week, unlike unvaccinated players, who test daily. The league will publish the measures to inform teams that all Tier 1 and Tier 2 employees must receive a Covid booster shot, sources told ESPN’s Dianna Russini.
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, Washington team defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers rookie offensive tackle Rashawn Slater and New York Giants rookie wide receiver Kadarius Toney , were in the sights of players who tested positive. The 36 cases are a significant jump from the previous high of 24 on July 28 this year, according to NFL Research.
All players who test positive for Covid-19 or land on the Covid reserve are prohibited from returning to work until they record two negative tests 24 hours apart (if vaccinated) or are asymptomatic after 10 days of isolation.