Bulls Insider

Jones Jr. is 5th Bull to land in health protocols

/ by K.C. Johnson
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
Bulls Insider

The Chicago Bulls now have a full lineup in the NBA's health and safety protocols.

That ridiculous development occurred when a team spokesperson confirmed that Derrick Jones Jr. is the fifth player to be sidelined as the team deals with a full-blown outbreak situation stemming from COVID-19.

In a nine-day span, Coby White, Javonte Green, DeMar DeRozan, Matt Thomas and now Jones have landed in the protocols.

The team only has confirmed positive tests for White and Green. But with both DeRozan and Thomas both in situations where they will be sidelined for at least 10 days or until they produce two negative tests within a 24-hour period, those players aren't dealing with inconclusive test results.

The team only discloses positive tests with the player's approval.

Regardless, the Bulls already have been granted one hardship roster exception, officially signing Stanley Johnson to a 10-day contract on Thursday. He will meet the team in Miami, where the Bulls face the Heat on Saturday.

With five players in the league's health and safety protocols and both Patrick Williams and Alex Caruso dealing with injuries, the Bulls can add another player via a hardship roster exception if they desire. Williams is out indefinitely. Caruso originally was supposed to be sidelined by his strained right hamstring until next week, but coach Billy Donovan said on Wednesday in Cleveland that Caruso is progressing and hadn't yet been ruled out of Saturday's game.

 

The Bulls are undergoing daily testing in light of the outbreak. Donovan said on Wednesday that Thomas' test at 6:30 a.m. landed him in the protocols. The team flew to Miami directly following Wednesday's loss to the Cavaliers, with testing scheduled for early Thursday.

Jones had been starting at power forward with Green and Caruso out. In 22 games, Jones is averaging seven points, 3.5 rebounds and one block in 18.5 minutes per game.

The Bulls used a nine-man rotation that featured two-way player Devon Dotson against the Cavaliers. They again will be shorthanded versus the Heat. Donovan fielded a question earlier this week about whether he has heard any talk of the league postponing games if a team is dealing with an outbreak like the Bulls and Hornets have.

Donovan said he hadn't at that point.

"It's just this time of year, there certainly has been a spike in this," he said.

The Bulls' schedule lightens up after Saturday, with just two games scheduled for next week.

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