Jazz's Donovan Mitchell Enters Concussion Protocol After Suffering Injury vs. Lakers

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 19, 2022

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) is defended by Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley (20) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. The Lakers won 101-95. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

Utah Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell has entered the NBA's concussion protocol following Monday's 101-95 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

The Jazz are entering Donovan Mitchell into concussion protocol, team says. Contact occurred in second quarter of loss to Lakers on Monday night.

Mitchell had 13 points (on 6-of-19 shooting) in 37 minutes in the loss.

Mitchell suffered a lower back strain in the first quarter of his team's 120-116 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Christmas Day. He stayed in the game and finished with 33 points in 35 minutes.

However, Mitchell did not travel with the team for its two-game road trip against the San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trail Blazers in late December. He had played in nine of his team's last 10 games since that absence.

Mitchell is a two-time All-Star currently playing in his fifth NBA season after going 13th overall in the 2017 draft. The former Louisville star has been sensational for Utah, averaging more than 20 points per game in each of his NBA campaigns.

He and Rudy Gobert have co-starred for a Jazz team that's been at or near the top of the Western Conference of late.

Utah went 52-20 in 2020-21, and that record was good enough for first in the Western Conference. However, the Jazz fell to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round of the playoffs.

This year's team has also fared well, going 29-15 and landing fourth in the West.

The Jazz could use Mitchell back as soon as possible in hopes of keeping the Warriors and Suns within striking distance as Utah looks to earn home-court advantage in the Western Conference playoffs once again.

However, the Jazz have some reinforcements off the bench to fill the void, including reigning Sixth Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson and veteran wing Joe Ingles. Rudy Gay could potentially play more minutes as well.

When Mitchell missed his team's 116-98 road win over the Atlanta Hawks on Nov. 4, Ingles entered the starting lineup for him, and Clarkson scored 30 points in 31 minutes off the bench.

Gay was out as he recovered from offseason heel surgery, but he should get the call sans Mitchell as one of the second unit's top players.