MELBOURNE will be without premiership defenders Jake Lever and Michael Hibberd for at least another week after the Demons ruled out the pair for Friday night's clash with the winless Bombers.

Lever has missed the Demons' first two games of the season with a plantar fascia foot injury and Hibberd has also been sidelined for the start of the Demons' 2022 campaign due to a calf injury, but coach Simon Goodwin on Tuesday said the pair would again miss the MCG meeting with Essendon.

Goodwin said the club was taking a cautious approach with Lever, who made the Therabody AFL All-Australian team last year, and that Melbourne's backline had stood up despite several injuries to begin their premiership defence.

Jake Lever warms up during a Melbourne training session at Gosch's Paddock on March 28, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

"The medical team and high performance team have taken an approach where we just need to make sure he's 100 per cent right to go and that's been supported by the coaching group. They've done a great job with our players over a couple of years now and this is another example of just making sure Jake's in the right position to perform and we're really comfortable with that," Goodwin said.

"We'd love Jake to be back, don't get me wrong, but we're really comfortable with the way the back six are functioning together. They're cohesive in the way they're playing, they're holding up well, they withstood 59 entries on the weekend and performed really strongly.

"We're comfortable where they sit as a back six at the moment but we'd love to get some troops back. Jake, Michael and Christian [Salem] are pretty important players to us so getting those guys back and available and ready to perform is important. But we're rapt with some of the performances we're seeing from our back six at the moment."

Christian Salem on crutches after the win over the Western Bulldogs in round one, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

The Demons have accounted for the Western Bulldogs and Gold Coast in the opening two rounds of the season and this week will take on the battling Bombers, who are yet to notch a win this season and have lost their reigning best and fairest star midfielder Zach Merrett to a long-term ankle injury.

Essendon chose not to tag Lachie Neale against Brisbane last week as the Brownlow medallist ran riot in the second half and Goodwin said the Demons would be "well prepared" if the Bombers decided to try to clamp down on either of his superstar midfielders Christian Petracca or Clayton Oliver.

Goodwin said the Demons were happy to pull the trigger on deploying a tag on opposition stars at the right time.

Superstar mid Christian Petracca and Simon Goodwin after the R2 win over Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium on March 26, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

"Our philosophy is we've got a system in how we play, but we're also not afraid to tag. So that's how we look at it from a week to week and we work really hard as a coaching group with our players to make sure our system can function within a tag. It's not something we're afraid to do be it at the start of games or during games, but we'll also back our guys in if we think we've got the right group to get a performance done," he said.

Another player who will be giving Essendon headaches is Melbourne big man Luke Jackson, who dominated against the Suns at Metricon Stadium. Goodwin said the club has had positive talks with the out-of-contract ruckman on his next deal.

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"We've had some really good discussions with Luke about his contract and his position at our club moving forward. One thing I know about Luke is he loves his teammates and he loves his footy club. We're really comfortable where it sits with him," Goodwin said.