CARLTON'S ability to score well without a key forward is proof Adelaide can still pose an attacking threat despite the loss of Taylor Walker, says defender Ben Rutten.

The Blues relied on a host of small forwards to down the Crows on Saturday, booting 17 goals for the match.

Jeff Garlett kicked four goals, Chris Yarran kicked three, and nine other players also hit the scoreboard.

Compounding the loss, Walker tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season.

While admitting his side's forward line structure relied on big forwards to compete and bring the ball to ground when possible, Rutten said coach Brenton Sanderson would have to "re-jig" the setup rather than start over.

"He's (Walker) an important player to us, our structure and his own ability," Rutten said.

"We rely on big guys in the forward line to be able to compete and we're just going to have to re-jig it and find ways to score goals.

"You can see from the weekend with Carlton the way they can score heavily without having real dominant key forwards."

Rutten said that with players like Shaun McKernan (196cm, 99kg) and Lewis Johnston (193cm, 91kg) both firing in the SANFL, Adelaide had the depth needed to cover the loss of its star forward.

McKernan booted five goals for Glenelg at the weekend, while Johnston has consistently proved a huge target for North Adelaide and sits second on the SANFL's goalkicking table with 13 from four games.

The former Sydney Swan also played a vital role in helping North Adelaide to last season's SANFL preliminary final, finishing the seasons as the league's second highest goalkicker with 57.

Rutten said Walker's absence and the addition of a lesser-known forward could help the side avoid becoming too one-dimensional.
"He's going to be a big loss, but we're just going to have to find ways to replace him," he said.

"Shauny McKernan kicked five, Lewis Johnston has been in some reasonable form … you never want to be too reliant on one individual player, so it'll give an opportunity for others to play well up there and that's all guys need sometimes."

Even with two big forwards banging on the selection door, Rutten insisted the answer to recovering from the loss of Walker didn't lie with a single replacement.

With just eight goal scorers against the Blues, including three each from defenders Matthew Jaensch and Andy Otten, Rutten called on his teammates to lift.

"It's not going to be one guy that's going to be able to replace that, it's the way we're moving the ball in the forward line," he said.

"We need more contributors scoring goals."

Harry Thring is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Harry