Rudy Gobert, the first NBA player known to have COVID, has tested positive again

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We’ll never know for sure if Rudy Gobert was patient zero for COVID in the NBA — it’s certainly possible another player or players had it before him — but he was the first player known to test positive. It was March of 2020, long before there was a vaccine or protocols for players to return. When he tested positive, the league shut down.

Nearly two years later, a lot of things are different, but once again Gobert has tested positive. The Jazz announced he has entered health and safety protocols.

Gobert missed Wednesday’s Jazz win, although the team said that was not COVID-related at the time (two rapid tests that day came back negative). However, the PRC test came back on Thursday and he was positive. He is out for Friday night’s game against Toronto.

Back on March 11, 2020, Gobert tested positive and the league shut down for four months (as did much of the country).

Now there are protocols in place, and Gobert could miss a week or so. He is the second Jazz player to be in protocols, along with Joe Ingles.

Gobert is averaging 15.5 points, 15.1 rebounds and is playing defense at a Defensive Player of the Year level again. The Jazz are 8.7 points per 100 possessions better with Gobert on the court.