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Report: Joel Embiid Put in COVID-19 Protocols by 76ers, Could Miss 'Several Games'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVNovember 8, 2021

Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers superstar center Joel Embiid could miss "several games" after being placed in the NBA's health and safety protocols, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. 

Embiid was scheduled to miss Monday night's matchup with the New York Knicks as "planned rest," per Charania. The Sixers face the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday. 

Charania added that Embiid is expected to miss 10 days unless he can produce two negative COVID-19 test results within a 24-hour period.

Add it to the list of injuries, illnesses and protracted holdouts the Sixers have dealt with this season.

Three other Sixers (Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle and Isaiah Joe) are in the league's health and safety protocols, and Harris has been hit hard by COVID-19.

"He's doing OK, but not great, honestly. ... Yeah, it hit him for sure," Doc Rivers told reporters last week. "A lot of guys have had this and they are mad like, 'What the hell? I'm fine.' Tobias is not in that category right now, I can tell you that."

And then there is Ben Simmons, who reportedly requested a trade over the summer and has yet to play this season.

Through it all, the Sixers have gone 8-2 and sit atop the Eastern Conference standings. It hasn't been through the sheer force of Embiid either. The big man has been solid but less dominant than in the past, averaging 21.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 43.5 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from three.

The 27-year-old remains the team's defensive fulcrum and is the best two-way center in the NBA. But his offensive numbers are down compared to last season's MVP runner-up showing (28.5 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.4 BPG, 51.3 percent shooting from the field, 37.7 percent from three).

Losing him will be tough for a Sixers team that is short-handed and faces a difficult stretch in the schedule with the Knicks, Bucks, Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers on the slate this week. Saturday's game against Indiana is the first in a six-game road trip.

With Embiid out, Andre Drummond will move to the starting lineup, while Paul Reed should see a major bump in playing time. Rookie Charles Bassey could also get some minutes.

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