The stakes are massive for Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge and Fremantle star Nat Fyfe when the match review panel meets on Monday.
Hodge is in trouble for a high bump on Port Adelaide Chad Wingard, with the Power player’s head also hitting the point post immediately afterwards.
If Hodge is charged, he has the added problem of a three-game suspension earlier this season for striking.
That would mean extra loading on his penalty, with the finals only two games away.
But Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said it was a high-speed incident and it would be a tough call to take action against his skipper.
Fyfe was booked for front-on contact with North Melbourne’s Ben Jacobs.
If the panel decide to charge the Dockers star, that would make the Brownlow Medal favourite ineligible for the award.
Fyfe has received two fines already this season and under the revamped tribunal guidelines, a third charge would mean an automatic one-game ban.
Any suspension means he cannot win the Brownlow.
Like the Hawks, it is a drama Fremantle could do without after the weekend’s loss stalled their finals buildup.
“Hopefully on the vision Nathan’s attacked the ball and gone low for the ball. If he’s done that he should be OK, but if he’s tucked in and bumped I think he’s in trouble,” Docker coach Ross Lyon said.
“That’s my understanding of the rules, but I could be wrong.”
Fyfe, who finished one vote behind Brownlow winner Matt Priddis last year despite missing four games through suspension, found an unlikely ally in North coach Brad Scott.
“I’m a bit of a players’ coach – I think that it’s got to be a severe incident for a player to miss a game,” Scott said.
“In my personal view, he’s not a malicious player. He’s a ball player, everyone knows that, but the MRP will deal with that.”