Collingwood coach Craig McRae believes the AFL's current injury crisis is "real" as over 150 players were ruled across Round 10 with respective ailments.

The Pies went into Saturday's clash with Adelaide with a dozen players sidelined for various reasons. At the same time, Reef McInnes (concussion) and Will Hoskin-Elliot (hamstring) became the latest casualties while a close eye will be kept on Jordan De Goey (groin) throughout the week.

McRae's men aren't the only ones struck down by injury, with Richmond (15 players) copping the brunt of it, as Carlton (13), Brisbane (10) and Adelaide (9) follow suit.

However, the 2023 premiership coach alluded that shortened games could assist in player management, especially if the league looks to increase the number of games played, referencing the 2020 COVID-interrupted season.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 18: Reef McInnes of the Magpies is seen after a head knock during the 2024 AFL Round 10 match between The Collingwood Magpies and Kuwarna (Adelaide Crows) at The Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 18, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

“Is the game too long?” McRae said on SEN.

“I don't know what's going on here. I don't know whether there needs to be a reset. Is this a trend? Is it a pattern of behaviour? I'm not sure. Maybe it's just an event.

“I just think there's something to be said about the game which is giving us feedback. 150 players out, that's giving us feedback.

“In hub life, we played less time and I don't think the game was any less of a product. Clearly, we didn't have the crowds to back that up.

“We were having five and six-day breaks regularly. We're going into our third six-day break in a row, there is a fatigue level."

During 2020, quarters were reduced from 20 minutes (plus time on) to 16 to facilitate shorter turnarounds in between matches.

The push for condensed games also comes from key figures Neil Balme and Chris Scott, with the pair being on the record saying the decreased quarter length could improve the overall spectacle of the game and assist in minimising injuries.

However, the AFL, according to Channel 7's Mitch Cleary, is "sticking with 20 minutes a quarter of playing time for the foreseeable future" but will be looking at other areas to bring down the overall game time.

The Pies will face Fremantle at Optus Stadium on Friday night.

 2024-05-24T10:10:00Z 
MATCH DRAWN
Optus Stadium
FRE   
75
FT
75
   COLL