Jeremy Cameron celebrates a goal during the match between Geelong and Port Adelaide at GMHBA Stadium in round nine, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

GEELONG will be without its two top forwards for its Darwin trip to face Gold Coast after Jeremy Cameron was ruled out with delayed concussion.

Tom Hawkins will also be rested for Thursday night's match.

Cameron's head hit the ground after a marking contest in the final term of Friday night's home loss to Port Adelaide.

The Cats have given a detailed explanation of why Cameron played out the game, saying he showed no immediate symptoms.

"As per the AFL's concussion guidelines, Geelong medical staff immediately attended Cameron and conducted a HIA on ground, where he reported no symptoms and satisfied all AFL requirements," the Cats said in a statement on Saturday.

"After further review of the video footage, and in consultation with the spotters in the ARC (AFL Review Centre), it was decided there was no criteria to remove Cameron immediately from the field for further assessment."


Cameron also passed a post-game assessment, but has entered concussion protocols after another test on Saturday.

"Cameron was monitored and assessed again on Saturday morning, where he reported some concussive symptoms on repeat SCAT6 (assessment) and a diagnosis of delayed concussion was made," the club said.

Geelong coach Chris Scott said he was "confused" by criticism of Hawkins after confirming the record-breaking veteran will sit out the Darwin trip.

Hawkins ended his four-match goal drought with one major in the Cats' six-point loss to Port Adelaide.

But the 35-year-old was limited to just seven disposals by former teammate Esava Ratugolea in another quiet display that is likely to intensify the spotlight on his form.

Jeremy Cameron and Tom Hawkins celebrate during Geelong's clash against Port Adelaide in round nine, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Scott held back from launching a full-scale defence of Hawkins but stuck up for the three-time premiership forward.

"Where I want to respond a little bit is, 'Are you saying Tom Hawkins has had a few quiet weeks out of 355 games so there's a huge problem when we're 7-1?'" Scott said.

"I guess the only kind of negative emotion that I feel is a bit of confusion."

Hawkins, who has kicked 791 goals over a career spanning 18 seasons, continues to attract some of the competition's best defenders.

"He's topical. He's been such a good player and he's still such an important player for us," Scott said.

"It's not the only test but if you survey our opponents and ask, 'Do you want him to play or not?' I'm assuming they would say not. That's still the way I look at it.

"He had some really nice moments as the game went on as well, but we didn't get the ball forward much early on."

Scott said the club had planned for Hawkins to be rested in round 10, skipping a Gold Coast clash that comes on a six-day break and includes travel.

It will allow Hawkins to surpass long-time teammate Joel Selwood's record for most games played for the Cats - currently 355 - when the Cats host Greater Western Sydney at GMHBA Stadium in round 11.