Wizards return to practice after COVID outbreak


Drew Stahl, Staff Writer

It has been close to two weeks since the Washington Wizards have had any team activities. The pause in the Wizards’ season came after their first home win of the season against the Phoenix Suns. Following the game, it was reported that three players on the Wizards’ active roster tested positive for Covid-19.


After the three positive cases were confirmed, the Wizards canceled their Tuesday practice in addition to their Wednesday night game against the Utah Jazz. However, the outbreak was just beginning. On Wednesday, January 13th, the Wizards announced that the positive cases number had increased to five. After the two additional cases were confirmed, the NBA postponed the Friday game against the Detroit Pistons. The NBA has strict protocols in place when it comes to these types of situations, thus the reason why all of these games have not been played.


It appeared things were being held under control with no new cases on Thursday. On Friday, the Wizards confirmed that a sixth player had tested positive for Coronavirus. And as many know what happens next, with the new positive the NBA postponed Sunday and Monday games between the Cleveland Cavaliers. For fans that haven’t kept up the current state for the Wizards were six active coronavirus cases with their last four games being postponed. So far we have since six new positive tests for the Wizards to go along with four games being postponed. 


Throughout the weekend we didn’t hear much from the organization. It looked like the outbreak had calmed down and it appeared the Wizards could practice as soon as this week. Since the Wizards couldn’t practice on Monday or Tuesday, the NBA postponed the Wednesday night game between the Charlotte Hornets. Finally, it was announced late Wednesday night that the Wizards were cleared to return to practice. 


There is one key element to this, though. Since the players who tested positive had to face a 10-14 day quarantine, the Wizard were without six of their players with another two out due to injury. It was confirmed that the six players to test positive were Deni Avdija, Davis Bertans, Troy Brown Jr,  Rui Hachimura, Ish Smith, and Mortiz Wagner. 


The Wizards had a scheduled game on Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks. The NBA requires at least eight active players in order to play a game. Since the Wizards did not have the required eight guys to play, the Wizards game against the Bucks was also postponed. Even though another game had been postponed, things were definitely trending in the right direction for the team. The Wizards had a practice on Wednesday as well as a Thursday practice, as mentioned before without the six members of the team who tested positive. 


The next games up for the Wizards are on the road. The road game part is a very key aspect here- with the protocols put in place, the six members of the team won’t be able to join the team on the three-game road trip. 


With the Wizards back in practice and future games in sight, it appears the Wizards will be back to playing basketball very soon. It is going to be a tough three-game road trip for the Wiz as they are without six of their players, two of them being starters, but thankfully the Wizards will be playing basketball once again.