Matt Thomas is the Latest Bull to Enter NBA's Health and Safety Protocols

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Matt Thomas is the Latest Bull to Enter NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls have an outbreak on their hands.

Matt Thomas will be the fourth Bulls player to actively enter the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols, joining DeMar DeRozan, Coby White, and Javonte Green. He will be the 5th Bulls player (Nikola Vucevic) to miss time due to protocols this season.

Thomas has seldom played for the Bulls over their first 25 games of the year, but he did clock a season-high 19 minutes of action against the Denver Nuggets on Monday due to the Bulls’ damaged depth. While picturing a similar workload against a sizable Cleveland Cavaliers team tonight was tough, the option is now completely off the table for head coach Billy Donovan.

Adding in Alex Caruso’s hamstring and calf injury, as well as the absence of Patrick Williams, the Bulls are set to have just 9 of their 15-man roster available tonight. Two-way players Devon Dotson and Tyler Cook should also be available. With that in mind, the team is technically eligible to add a player to the roster via hardship exception.

Perhaps we see the Bulls go this route strictly for depth purposes, but I would not be surprised if they just try to weather the storm over the next handful of days. Coby White tested positive on December 1st, so he should be available to rejoin the team this weekend, perhaps putting him in line to rejoin the rotation for next Tuesday’s matchup with the Pistons. The Bulls also still have players like Alize Johnson and Tony Bradley, two players who may not have earned much playing time against the Nuggets, but who do have experience playing in the rotation.

Regardless, the Bulls’ depth has taken a massive hit this week, and keeping this five-game winning streak alive against a scrappy Cavaliers team and physical Heat team this week has certainly become that much tougher.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.