After entering the League’s health and safety protocols, Denver Nuggets (10-10) guard Austin Rivers will be absent from Wednesday’s game against the Orlando Magic (4-18). Initially reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Rivers is expected to miss several games.
Sources: Nuggets guard Austin Rivers has entered health and safety protocols and is expected to miss several games, including tonight’s game vs. Orlando. Another loss to the Denver lineup, now without Rivers, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 1, 2021
Rivers initially signed with the organization back in April to bolster the teams’ back-court depth. He re-signed with the Nuggets in September, agreeing to a one-year $2.4 million deal. The Nuggets, meanwhile, haven’t seen typical production from Rivers as of late, with the 29-year-old playing a limited bench role, averaging 3.9 points and 1.4 rebounds in 17.4 minutes per game while shooting 34.6 percent from the field.
Rivers absence is the latest health and safety protocol domino to fall, with LeBron James entering protocols yesterday before the Los Angeles Lakers matchup with the Sacramento Kings and League insider Adrian Wojnarowski reporting that Bones Hyland will join Rivers in health and safety protocols.
The removal of Rivers from the lineup for the foreseeable future only intensifies the Nuggets’ lack of bodies with P.J. Dozier suffering a torn ACL, Jamal Murray continuing to rehab his torn left ACL, and losing Michael Porter Jr. to a back surgery indefinitely.