Bulls get Jones back; ask why coaches have been unaffected

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Bulls forward Derrick Jones Jr. scores past Denver Nuggets forward Jeff Green (32) on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, at the United Center.

    Bulls forward Derrick Jones Jr. scores past Denver Nuggets forward Jeff Green (32) on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, at the United Center. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 12/19/2021 7:32 PM

Before facing the Lakers on Sunday at the United Center, the Bulls were able to add Derrick Jones Jr. to the active roster. He had been in health and safety protocols since playing in the Cleveland game on Dec. 8.

Bulls coach Billy Donovan said the four players who entered protocols most recently -- Zach LaVine, Ayo Dosunmu, Troy Brown Jr. and Alize Johnson -- are still likely to be sidelined until after Christmas, which would mean missing three more games, including this one.

 

Donovan was asked before the game if he had any explanation for 11 players entering protocols at some point this season, while no one on the coaching staff has been sidelined.

"It was funny, I asked that exact question two days ago to our medical people," Donovan said. "We're around these guys, we're all together, we're in locker rooms, we're on planes, we're on buses, we're in huddles. The response I got was, 'Count yourself lucky.' So I don't think there's anything we're doing as much as we've been very fortunate."

Donovan said Brown is experiencing some symptoms, but everyone else is either nothing or very mild. As far as added precautions, Donovan said it's been focused mostly in one area.

"Just the testing is the biggest thing," Donovan said. "Certainly for us, it's been ramped up. We had two different testing segments this morning we had to go through. We had to do two yesterday. We'll probably do another one after the game. There really hasn't been anything more that's come down from the league that we need to do. I'm sure once we get through the holidays, it sounds like there's going to be more league-wide testing.

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"The train's going to keep on moving and we're just going to have to roll with some of these punches and deal with it. I think our guys have been really good at trying to be careful, but it sounds like with how contagious some of these variants are ... I just appreciate the way our guys have handled themselves through this.

"Even the guys that were put into health and safety protocols and were feeling like, 'I can play, this is not that bad.' But them understanding they can't, and them keeping their mind on what they can control."

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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