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Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby during a game against the New Jersey Devils, in Pittsburgh, on Oct. 30.Gene J. Puskar/The Associated Press

The Pittsburgh Penguins placed star centre Sidney Crosby and defenceman Brian Dumoulin in the COVID-19 protocol on Wednesday after both tested positive.

The sports world had another COVID surprise on Wednesday when it was announced Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is in the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol, leaving the NFL’s hottest team without the reigning MVP. He will miss Sunday’s road game against Kansas City.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said Crosby is dealing with mild symptoms while Dumoulin is asymptomatic. Crosby’s positive test came less than a week after he made his season debut, missing the opening six games while recovering from left wrist surgery.

Though the overwhelming majority of Penguins have been vaccinated, they’ve spent the early portion of the season wrangling with COVID-19. Crosby and Dumoulin are the seventh and eighth Penguins to go into the COVID-19 protocol since training camp opened in September.

Defencemen Marcus Pettersson and Chad Ruhwedel went into the protocol on Monday. Forwards Jeff Carter, Jack Guentzel and Zach Aston-Reese and defenceman Kris Letang also have tested positive.

Carter, Guentzel and Aston-Reese have returned to action. Letang, who was symptomatic, was back at practice on Monday. Letang said the first portion of his quarantine was difficult and he could tell the after effects of having the virus when he was cleared to practice.

Crosby made his 2021-22 debut in a 4-2 loss to New Jersey last Saturday. The 34-year-old did not record a point as the Penguins dropped their third straight.

“I’m sure he’s discouraged,” Sullivan said. “He worked extremely hard to get to this point, and we were all so excited about getting him back in the fold.”

Crosby and Dumoulin both practised on Monday. The team was off on Tuesday. The positive test came back Wednesday morning before the team reconvened.

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