RESTRICTED free agent Jack Billings may have played his last game for the club after straining his hamstring at training on Tuesday.
The wingman has held early talks with the Saints on a possible extension but is yet to commit to staying and will now miss at least the next fortnight.
It comes as doubt grows on Paddy Ryder's availability again this season with the 33-year-old ruled out for a second week with Achilles soreness.
Ryder is expected to soon sign a new deal for 2022 but won't tackle Sydney on Saturday night and is no guarantee to return for the final two rounds.
"He rolled in this morning and it hasn't progressed to where we want it so there's no use pushing the envelope with it," coach Brett Ratten said of Ryder.
"We'll give him the week off and see if we can get him right for the following week."
Jack Sinclair (hamstring) and Dan McKenzie (concussion) will return, while Ratten confirmed first-year rookie Cooper Sharman would start after playing last week as the medical sub.
MEDICAL ROOM The full AFL injury list
Dougal Howard (hamstring) and Hunter Clark (concussion) will watch on, while Dan Hannebery will play a full game in the VFL before putting his hand up for AFL selection from next week.
Ratten added one of James Frawley, Oscar Clavarino or Darragh Joyce would replace Howard in a defence that will need to contend with Lance Franklin.
The Saints are looking to snap a three-game losing streak with the coach revealing the players' wellbeing numbers had risen last week which may have contributed to the disappointing loss to Carlton.
"We looked a bit flat on the weekend, we kicked the ball poorly," Ratten said.
"Maybe coming back from Perth (in round 19) and being there for a week in a quarantine situation, we looked a little bit off the pace with our reaction, speed, energy.
"It's measured through survey, most clubs do it, it's every week a few times. They were at the highest they've been for probably 12 months last week. It's not an excuse, it's for us, how we train the players during the week and even acknowledge they are a little high and how we're going to go about it.
"Football games wait for nobody, they'll be played, and we've got to make sure mentally and physically we're ready."
The Saints sit a game and percentage out of the top eight and need to win their last three games any rely on other results to be any chance to snatch a finals berth.