Nuggets’ Rivers, Hyland both out Wednesday after entering health, safety protocols

Denver Nuggets v Dallas Mavericks
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Point guard Jamal Murray remains out as he recovers from a torn ACL. Wing player P.J. Dozier is out after tearing his ACL. Michael Porter Jr. is likely done for the season following another back surgery. And the hits just keep on coming to the Nuggets.

Guards Austin Rivers and rookie Bones Hyland are both out for the Nuggets Wednesday night against Orlando as they enter the league’s health and safety protocols. Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the Rivers news.

Saying “several games” suggests that Rivers has tested positive for COVID-19. If he is vaccinated, league rules say he needs to be out 10 days, or, be asymptomatic and have two negative tests 24 hours apart (that could happen in fewer than 10 days if things break right).

Hyland was a late addition to the health and safety protocols, and he doesn’t get it.

It’s unknown if this is because Hyland also tested or tied to contact tracing connected to Rivers. However, if it is contact tracing, and he tests negative, he could return sooner than Rivers. Michael Singer of the Denver Post has the news.

This leaves the Nuggets shorthanded going up against Orlando with just four guards available: Monte Morris, Will Barton, Facu Campazzo and Markus Howard. Not having the rookie Hyland is a blow for the young player, who scored a career-high 19 against Miami and was going to get a big bump in minutes with Rivers out.

Michael Malone might be forced to pull fans out of the first row to sub in for the Nuggets on Wednesday night.