Boston Celtics

Dec 1, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Georges Niang (20) drives to the basket while Boston Celtics guard Josh Richardson (8) defends during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Assuming the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers do end up tipping off Monday night at TD Garden, both teams will be severely shorthanded due to players in the NBA’s health & safety protocol.

The Celtics have already ruled seven players “OUT” for Monday night due to COVID-19. They are: (deep breath) Sam Hauser, Juancho Hernangomez, Al Horford, Jabari Parker, Josh Richardson, Brodric Thomas, and Grant Williams. Richardson is the most recent addition to the COVID list. Additionally, guard Dennis Schröder is listed as “QUESTIONABLE” with a non-COVID-related illness, while Romeo Langford is also questionable with what the team termed “neck pain.”

Jayson Tatum is questionable with a sprained ankle, but you’d have to think he toughs it out in a situation like this. Take the over on his point total.

Here’s the best-case scenario roster for the Celtics entering the game:

Jaylen Brown
Bruno Fernando
Enes Freedom
Justin Jackson
Romeo Langford
Aaron Nesmith
Payton Pritchard
Dennis Schröder
Marcus Smart
Jayson Tatum
Robert Williams

If Tatum, Schröder, and Langford can’t go, it’ll be interesting to see how Celtics head coach Ime Udoka handles minutes and rotations.

On the Sixers’ side, they were supposed to be heading into the second night of a back-to-back but their Sunday game against the Pelicans ended up being postponed. They currently have Andre Drummond, Shake Milton, and Georges Niang in the health & safety protocol.

  • New COVID restrictions in Boston

    BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 29:  A woman receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the COVID-19 mass vaccination site at Fenway Park on January 29, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. The site will follow the state's vaccine distribution timeline and will open with capacity for 500 vaccinations per day, ramping up to 1,250.  (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 29: A woman receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the COVID-19 mass vaccination site at Fenway Park on January 29, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. The site will follow the state’s vaccine distribution timeline and will open with capacity for 500 vaccinations per day, ramping up to 1,250. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

    Boston Mayor Michelle Wu announced a new series of COVID-related regulations for the city on Monday. Proof of vaccination will be required for, among others, employees at large venues like TD Garden. But there’s an exception for pro athletes, so any unvaccinated players for the Celtics or Bruins could continue playing without having to get the shot.

    Schröder has publicly admitted that he is unvaccinated. Richardson is believed to be unvaccinated as well.

    These new regulations are expected to go into effect on Feb. 15. The Celtics are scheduled to face the Chicago Bulls in Boston that night. Every other employee at TD Garden will be required to be fully vaccinated by then. Fans are already required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to gain entry.

  • Reinforcements

    DENVER, COLORADO - NOVEMBER 26: Will Barton III #5 of the Denver Nuggets is guarded by C.J. Miles #34 of the Washington Wizards in the first quarter at the Pepsi Center on November 26, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

    DENVER, COLORADO – NOVEMBER 26: Will Barton III #5 of the Denver Nuggets is guarded by C.J. Miles #34 of the Washington Wizards in the first quarter at the Pepsi Center on November 26, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

    Believe it or not, there’s a provision that allows teams to exceed the 15-man roster maximum when they have at least four players who are sick. It’s called the “hardship exemption.”

    The Celtics are invoking that rule to sign veteran C.J. Miles ahead of Monday’s game, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Miles last played in an NBA game on Nov. 26, 2019 for the Washington Wizards. He’s played for six teams in 15 seasons.

  • Celtics’ Upcoming Schedule

    Dec 18, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Knicks guard Kemba Walker (8) controls the ball while Boston Celtics guard Josh Richardson (8) defends during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Dec 18, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Knicks guard Kemba Walker (8) controls the ball while Boston Celtics guard Josh Richardson (8) defends during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    As of this writing, the game is still on between the Celtics and Sixers at TD Garden. The NBA postponed five games over the weekend, so they might not be out of the woods yet.

    Here’s what the Celtics’ upcoming slate looks like:

    Monday, Dec. 20 vs. 76ers
    Wednesday, Dec. 22 vs. Cavaliers
    Saturday, Dec. 25 @ Bucks

    You’d have to think the NBA is looking to avoid postponing Christmas Day games at all costs. The Cavs, however, are among the teams that had a game postponed recently. So their situation will be one to monitor ahead of Wednesday’s scheduled game in Boston.

    We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the Celtics’ upcoming slate of games right here at 985TheSportsHub.com.