Western Bulldogs midfielder Jack Macrae is reportedly on the radar of rival clubs, despite having four years left to go on his contract.

Macrae, who was deemed unfit to face Melbourne in their Round 1 clash, was recently demoted from the Bulldogs' leadership group, and replaced by Tom Liberatore.

After failing to get up for the season opener, coach Luke Beveridge said the three-time All-Australian isn't far away, but won't be risked if he's not fully fit.

"With Jacko, he had a stress-related, through his femur, concern over the pre-season - he worked really hard over his off-season," Beveridge said post-game.

"And then he had that hamstring that he went down with and he missed quite a bit of training and running and his capacity to cover the ground needs to be there.

"So we'll just wait until Jack's totally ready to perform at his absolute best with the ground cover. So he's not far away."

Journalist Tom Morris believes clubs are circling Macrae, with the thought he could be an option come this year's trade period.

"Jack Macrae, playing VFL, I know he is not fully fit yet but he's got four years left on a deal," Morris said on Channel 9's Footy Furnace.

"He's a three-time All-Australian... clubs are monitoring him and just seeing whether they could potentially pry him out of the Bulldogs.

Despite an interrupted pre-season, Macrae featured in two VFL games before Sunday's season opener, doing everything in his power to put his hand up for selection.

However, it is no shock that Beveridge isn't afraid to shift the magnets around, opting to debut Pick 6 in last year's draft Ryley Sanders and former Demon James Harmes through the midfield.

The 29-year-old could find himself on the outer, with the Bulldogs trying new looks to find a winning combination.

Macrae - locked until the end of 2027 at the Bulldogs - will hope to regain his spot following a disappointing outing by his team, which saw them handed a loss from Melbourne by 45 points.

Heading down to Ballarat, the Western Bulldogs will look to square the ledger, hosting the Gold Coast Suns on Sunday, March 24.