Geelong Cats superstar Patrick Dangerfield faces a nervous wait from the Match Review Officer following an “ugly” incident with Adelaide Crows defender Jake Kelly on Saturday afternoon.
The Crows had raced to an early lead in the second term when Kelly looked to handball the Sherrin to a teammate.
Charging in from the side, Dangerfield put on a late bump after Kelly had disposed of the ball, a heavy clash of heads leaving the 26-year-old unmoving on the turf.
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Kelly was attended by trainers as a chorus of boos echoed around Adelaide Oval, presumably pointed towards the Geelong stalwart.
Unfortunately, Adelaide had already activated its medical sub, with Mitch Hinge replacing Luke Brown earlier in the contest.
Kelly was stretchered off the ground with his face bleeding and a suspected concussion.
The bump was clearly unintentional, but if Dangerfield is found guilty of foul play and misses a game, it would rule him out of contention for the Brownlow Medal.
Hawthorn legend Jason Dunstall said on Fox Footy: “He’s got to be in trouble, doesn’t he? Because he chose to bump.
“We need to protect the head. I don’t think he needed to make contact the way he did.”
St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt replied: “If you chose to bump you forfeit all rights, that’s what we’ve been told. Despite the fact there’s no malice or intention to get him high … that’s irrelevant.”
Former Collingwood star Tony Shaw told 3AW: “I think Dangerfield is looking at a couple of weeks even with his good record.”
The Herald Sun’s Sam Landsberger tweeted: “The MRO matrix suggests Patrick Dangerfield would probably cop two games if he is charged. Fascinating case … purely accidental head clash with a nasty consequence.”
The Guardian’s Greg Jericho posted: “Dangerfield won’t be winning the Brownlow this year.”
Fox Sports reporter Tom Morris explained on Fox Footy: “This is careless, high-contact and high impact. That will be two weeks.”
The Match Review will deliver its verdict on the incident on Sunday.
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Dangerfield is an eight-time All-Australian and former Brownlow Medal winner, scoring 300 goals since making his AFL debut in 2008.
Geelong was utterly outclassed in the opening half at Adelaide Oval, with the Crows racing to an early lead.
Adelaide veteran Taylor Walker mustered four goals in the first half to leave last year’s finalists stunned.
With the hosts leading by 38 points at halftime, a major round one upset is on the cards.