Washington Wizards center Montrezl Harrell has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, according to a Tuesday morning tweet from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Harrell will not play tonight against the Miami Heat on the road.
Washington Wizards center Montrezl Harrell has entered the league's Covid protocols, sources tell ESPN. He's the seventh player on roster to do so. Wizards play the Heat tonight.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 28, 2021
Harrell joins Thomas Bryant, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Bradley Beal, Aaron Holiday, Anthony Gill and Raul Neto in protocols. Given that Bryant is still recovering from a knee injury he suffered last year, it softens the blow the Wizards are enduring. But at the same time, seven players are in protocol and it’s possible that other players may still contract COVID-19 in the meantime.
On Monday, the league altered some protocols to match CDC recommendations to allow asymptomatic players to clear protocols as soon as six days instead of 10 after they test positive as long as COVID-19 testing data shows they are no longer at risk to be infectious.
Harrell is averaging 14.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game for the Wizards. He is the second-leading scorer right behind Bradley Beal, who is averaging 23.3 points per game. Daniel Gafford, who is averaging 9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, will need to be ready to step up in Harrell’s absence.