Ben Rutten during the round three match between Melbourne and Essendon at the MCG on April 1, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

BLAKE Caracella will coach Essendon this week after senior coach Ben Rutten entered the AFL's health and safety protocols.

Rutten is in isolation as a household COVID-19 contact and will miss the Bombers' clash with his old side Adelaide on Sunday at Marvel Stadium.

The club said Rutten had tested negative but would sit out the game while isolating as per the government guidelines.

"Ben has tested negative but is a household contact and will isolate for the required period of time. We understand this is the landscape and like many other clubs at the moment, will adjust to the situation accordingly," Essendon football boss Josh Mahoney said.

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"As such, while Ben will remain involved in the program remotely. Blake Caracella will take on the duties of the senior coach position in Ben's absence over the coming days, with our program remaining fully focused on our preparations for Sunday's game against Adelaide." 

Essendon assistant Blake Caracella during an intraclub match at The Hangar on February 16, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

Caracella, who played in the Bombers' 2000 premiership, will take the reins of the side having been a long-term assistant coach at Geelong, Richmond and Essendon.

Rutten becomes the third senior coach across the competition to miss at least a game through the AFL's health and safety protocols, following Carlton's Michael Voss and Fremantle's Justin Longmuir.

The Bombers enter the game on the back of three successive losses to open their season, which is their worst start to a campaign since 1967.