YOUNG Brisbane defender Noah Answerth has accepted a two-week suspension from a VFL practice match that could compromise his AFL season even longer.
Answerth was in the frame to play for the Lions against Geelong on Friday night but was charged with rough conduct from Saturday's one-point win over Aspley.
The suspension, assessed as intentional conduct with high impact and body contact, is complicated with the VFL season not starting until April 17.
Greater Western Sydney draftee Ryan Angwin could find himself in a similar position, choosing to not accept a two-match ban for forceful contact against Sydney and instead opting to have his charge heard at the Tribunal next Tuesday night.
Answerth is next available to play for Brisbane in round four against the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on April 10.
He could also play a VFL practice match against Gold Coast on the same day.
However, if not chosen to play the Dogs or in round five against Essendon (April 17), the reliable back pocket would then have to serve his ban in the opening two rounds of the VFL on April 17 and 24.
If he plays against the Bulldogs or Bombers, he's free to keep playing at the top level, having essentially served the suspension at AFL level.
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Clear as mud?
The case is not entirely dissimilar to that of Fremantle's Josh Treacy, who was banned for two matches in a WAFL practice match for Peel Thunder earlier in March.
However, Treacy has to serve his ban when the WAFL competition begins on April 2 and is ineligible for the Dockers in the meantime as well.
Answerth – and potentially Angwin – have a window to play at senior level, though.