INJURIES to former skipper Nathan Jones and emerging midfielder Tom Sparrow have further soured a dirty day for Melbourne on Saturday.
BULLDOGS v DEMONS Full match coverage and stats
Jones was forced to withdraw just moments before the Demons' 28-point loss to the Western Bulldogs with quad soreness and was replaced by Mitch Hannan.
Sparrow then suffered a broken collarbone during a third quarter in which the Dogs kicked six unanswered goals to blow the match open and assume the Demons' spot in the top eight.
>> WATCH THE INCIDENT IN THE PLAYER ABOVE
"He (Jones) was just a little bit tight in the warm-up so we'll obviously have to look at that during the week," Demons coach Simon Goodwin said post-match.
"He made the decision not to play, (he) just wasn't confident on it… (he) just felt tight during the warm-up."
"It's disappointing for Tom. He's come in and worked really hard to play and we'll look at that over the next 24-48 hours.
"He may need surgery to get it fixed. If it is that, it'll only be 2-3 weeks he's out of the team for."
The Demons allowed the Dogs 42 more uncontested possessions in the third term alone, ending their run of three consecutive victories.
THE LADDER Where is your team sitting?
"We probably defended as poorly as we have all year for that 20 minutes," Goodwin said of the third term.
"Most of the day it was looking vulnerable and in the third quarter it just broke open.
"They were very good at getting the ball to the open side of the ground and producing some really good things from kick-ins and from the back half."
With Max Gawn (knee) to return next week, Demons back-up Braydon Preuss had the better of Dogs ruckman Tim English for much of the first half.
It forced Dogs coach Luke Beveridge to throw Josh Bruce into the centre square after he'd had just one disposal to the main break.
"It's a constant challenge," Beveridge said of his ruck department.
"I thought Preuss was giving them outside hits and clean service but that's where I thought our midfield were good enough to read it and put pressure on.
"We've got to recognise what the vulnerabilities are and try to mitigate the risk to get an advantage from it."
Beveridge also praised Mitch Wallis' career-high four goals and his side's ability to take the game on, which was emphasised to his players at half-time.