THE AFL has vowed to continue playing on through COVID-19 interruptions if necessary during the finals series, after a re-emergence of more mini-outbreaks among several clubs over the weekend.

The League has been consistent in its message to clubs throughout the season that games will continue to be played despite any COVID-19 enforced absences and won't alter that approach during September.

Fears over the potential of players entering the AFL's health and safety protocols for pivotal finals games have bubbled away recently, after a recent 'second wave' of COVID-19 clusters among clubs.

A total of 11 players were withdrawn from AFL teams over the weekend due to the protocols, led by a Brisbane outfit that had five players missing from its side for Sunday's upset defeat to Essendon.

Essendon celebrates its win over Brisbane in round 17, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

But the League will continue to allow clubs to manage the health and safety of their respective players, coaches and staff members and has ruled out the possibility of finals matches being re-arranged due to mass absentees.

West Coast remains the only side forced to dip into its COVID-19 top-up pool for games this year, handing surprise call-ups to non-listed players including Angus Dewar, Aaron Black, Stefan Giro, Declan Mountford and Jake Florenca.

New West Coast players Callum Jamieson, Jack Williams, Angus Dewar, Stefan Giro and Aaron Black before the Eagles' round two match against North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on March 27, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Clubs dealt with a series of COVID-19 cases in pre-season as outbreaks peaked throughout Australia in January, though the League believes the overwhelming majority of players are now triple-vaccinated.

Brisbane became the latest club to deal with mass disruptions to its playing group last week, with five players – Callum Ah Chee, Daniel McStay, Harris Andrews, Keidean Coleman and Noah Answerth – all ruled out due to COVID-19.

"It was a crazy week," Lions coach Chris Fagan said on Sunday.

"I thought our effort today to hang in there under those circumstances was great. I know the numbers look like Essendon dominated the game, but we're not a big numbers team anyway.

"I thought our spirit just to keep hanging in there…was full of credit. I'm not going to go home tonight unhappy with them at all, I'm going to go home disappointed that we lost the game and frustrated.

"But, in terms of effort and trying hard, it's a really decent effort I believe. It's not the end of the world."