NRL executives will seek urgent advice from health experts after a Penrith player entered 'COVID-hold' - the third player to be isolated from their team following revelations of biosecurity breaches on Monday.
Panthers' four-try rookie hero Charlie Staines has been stood down from all club duties after hosting family and friends at his home and then attending hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The 19-year-old breached the NRL's biosecurity guidelines by having 10 visitors at his place of residence, when only five are allowed at a time with the maximum of 10 per day.
He then suffered lock jaw - a condition he has suffered in the past - and went to Nepean Hospital at around 2.30am on Sunday morning before being released.
"Charlie has been extremely naive on this occasion and inadvertently breached the protocols that are in place to protect the game," Panthers CEO Brian Fletcher said in a statement.
"His misunderstanding of the specifics of the guidelines can not be overlooked, nor can his failure to contact the club before seeking medical treatment for his jaw condition.
"The club and Charlie will now work closely with the NRL to ensure all necessary steps are taken to rectify the situation."
A video hook up between the NRL and health experts on Monday night will determine how to proceed after two others, Canterbury player Jake Averillo and Parramatta's Stefano Utoikamanu, were also isolated from their respective teams.
Coincidentally, the NRL on Monday morning sent a note to clubs reminding them of the importance of abiding by the competition's coronavirus protocols given the developing situation in Victoria and NSW.
"It's mainly about making sure we don't get too loose with the existing protocols, that everyone realises this is still a situation that requires contact compliance," said the NRL's head of football Graham Annesley on Monday.
"If we don't comply and we get any kind of infection within the NRL individual bubble, that poses a threat to the NRL competition.
"At least games, if not the competition itself."
Averillo's standown comes after the Bulldog became entangled in Sydney's Crossroads Hotel COVID-19 cluster, with the player denied access to training and forced to relocate to a hotel.
The 19-year-old lives with his parents who on July 5 attended the hotel in Sydney's south-west, to which 21 cases of COVID-19 have since been linked.
Averillo was tested for the virus on Monday, while his parents were tested over the weekend and will be re-tested before he is cleared to return to training.
The youngster's Bulldogs teammates will not undergo coronavirus testing if Averillo and his parents return a negative result.
It is the third case of enforced isolation for the Bulldogs.
Skipper Aidan Tolman missed two matches due to a teacher at his child's school contracting the virus, while new recruit Luke Thompson spent a mandatory two-week quarantine period in Melbourne when he arrived from England last month.
Averillo's situation comes as a Parramatta rookie was prevented from attending Eels training on Monday after he breached NRL biosecurity protocols on Sunday night.
Utoikamanu made his NRL debut in the win over Newcastle but broke health regulations by embracing family members and friends in the crowd after fulltime.
The 20-year-old remains a part of the Eels' bubble, but is unable to return to training until the people he made close contact with pass a COVID-19 test.
Australian Associated Press