WESTERN Bulldogs big man Will Minson is no longer seen as the team's best ruck option every week and was dropped partly because of match-ups against Adelaide, according to coach Luke Beveridge.

Minson, who was named All Australian in 2013, struggled to produce his best form in 2014, and was sent back to Footscray in round 22 last season.

After averaging 13 possessions in three games this season, Beveridge said it was time to give Ayce Cordy a chance to lead the ruck against the Crows on Sunday.  

"That's not the way we'll go every week … (but) Will understands from week-to-week, depending if we're winning that position, it may not be him," Beveridge said on Saturday. 

"The way he sees it, he may have lost [his spot] for this week, but he needs and wants to earn it back.

"Now it's Ayce's turn to try and own it and take it as far as he can.

"This is a week for Will to play at VFL level, and he's dealt with it as you'd expect with the character you'd expect."

Beveridge said Adelaide's smaller structure this season without James Podsiadly was a reason for Minson's omission, but they will still come up against in-form ruckman Sam Jacobs.

Another threat to the Dogs' chances is star midfielder Patrick Dangerfield, who will be looking to respond from a quiet game against tight-checking Melbourne opponent Bernie Vince.

Beveridge said it wouldn't necessarily be Dangerfield that the Bulldogs looked to tag.

"We'll see how it unfolds, and if one of their players is having a big influence, we might do something about it," he said.

"At different stages we might do that and we've done it in the first few rounds when we've needed to.

"It was a bit difficult last week with personnel because we were so down."

Prized youngster Marcus Bontempelli trained lightly on Saturday morning, but will return for the Bulldogs after lifting his training load earlier in the week following a calf complaint in round three.  

Meanwhile, Clay Smith will play his first AFL game since undergoing his second knee reconstruction.   

The 21-year-old, who has played 31 games, ruptured the ACL in his right knee twice in 12 months and last played at AFL level in round 10 last season. 

"It's a credit to (high performance manager) Justin Cordy and all our medical and conditioning staff over the last year," Beveridge said.

"He's watertight with his knee and physically he couldn't be better prepared.

"His teammates will walk a little bit taller having him back in the team."