Essendon wingman Sam Durham will be hoping a hard tackle on Collingwood's Darcy Cameron doesn't gain the scrutiny of the AFL's Match Review Officer and see him miss the start of the 2024 season through suspension.
A chase-down tackle in the second quarter of Friday's defeat to the Magpies saw Durham bring down Cameron on the run with a strong tackle that left the Collingwood ruckman dazed on the ground before slowly rising to his feet.
Cameron was able to continue in the match - a factor that is sure to help Durham's case if the MRO does put the tackle under the microscope.
Durham does manage to release Cameron's left arm before he lands on the ground, giving the Magpies player a chance to brace for the surface.
However, with Cameron's head hitting the ground and the motion of Durham's tackle, the Bombers midfielder could face a nervous wait ahead of the MRO's findings from Friday's game.
Darcy Cameron goes down hard from this Sam Durham tackle.
— Fox Footy (@FOXFOOTY) August 25, 2023
The MRO would have to view Durham's actions as a reportable offence to be considered as a dangerous tackle, and therefore charge the 22-year-old.
In assessing the incident, the MRO will need to deem whether the tackle was "inherently dangerous", placed Cameron "in a vulnerable position", or if there was a driving motion.
If viewed as a reportable offence, Durham can still avoid a suspension and come away with a fine with a 'low' impact grading, assuming the levels of conduct and contact are graded as 'careless' and 'high' respectively.
An impact grading of medium would see Durham handed a one-game suspension, which would carry into Round 1 of the 2024 season.
The MRO will hand down their findings from Friday's game between Essendon and Collingwood on Saturday evening.