Adelaide are confident ruckman Sam Jacobs has avoided serious injury after hurting his ankle in the Crows’ 82-point AFL thumping of Essendon on Sunday.
Jacobs landed awkwardly on his left ankle during a marking contest early in the second quarter of the 22.11 (143) to 9.7 (61) win at Adelaide Oval.
Jacobs didn’t return to the field and later emerged on crutches but coach Don Pyke says the 202cm veteran was sidelined as a precaution.
“The report at the moment is it’s a low-grade strain,” Pyke said.
“Once he came off, the decision from the doctor was probably a no-risk policy which is wise in the circumstances.
“Hopefully he can rehab that and give himself every chance next week.”
The injury to Jacobs was a rare sore point for the Crows, who were hardly troubled by an outmatched Essendon.
The bottom-placed Bombers showed the right signs early on, winning the clearances and inside-50s early on.
But the difference in skill levels between the two sides was telling.
Plenty of Essendon’s forward entries were intercepted by Rory Laird (36 touches) and Kyle Cheney (seven marks, 13 touches), whose quality rebounding drove Adelaide forward time and again.
Led by brilliant onballer Rory Sloane (33 touches, nine inside-50s), the Crows stepped on the gas in the second quarter to open up a 45-point lead at halftime.
From there, it was party time for the 44,264 home crowd.
Adelaide kicked seven majors to Essendon’s one in the third quarter as maestro Eddie Betts (five goals) and apprentice Charlie Cameron (four) added to their tallies.
The win takes Adelaide to fifth on the AFL ladder, equal on points with Greater Western Sydney, Sydney and Geelong.
It’s likely they would have overtaken Geelong if not for a final-quarter lapse which allowed Essendon to boot four of the last five goals.
Bombers coach John Worsfold said he was pleased to see his youthful side finish the game strongly despite showing signs of fatigue.
“That was a massive thing for us,” he said.
“Coming over here, you look at Adelaide’s lineup and it’s hard to find a spot on the ground that you think you’re actually better than them.
“But we fought on. I’m really pleased with the way the players stuck to the task.”
Young midfielder Zach Merrett continued his outstanding season with 31 disposals, while skipper Brendon Goddard toiled hard.
Spearhead Joe Daniher worked tirelessly up the ground and was rewarded with four goals and 11 marks.