Dropped Essendon forward Sam Weideman could be the surprising option to replace injured defender Jordan Ridley in Brad Scott's rearguard for Saturday's clash with Sydney.

Ridley has been ruled out for close to a month with a quad issue, opening up a void in Scott's backline and adding further selection headaches for the first-year Dons coach.

Essendon remains without young defender Zach Reid for up to eight weeks due to a hamstring injury, while James Stewart has only just returned to the selection frame and is in the mix to record minutes in the VFL for the Bombers.

The club's reserves recorded a six-point loss to Williamstown last Friday but did find some positives with their defence, which found a new face in Weideman following his struggles in Scott's attack over recent months.

Weideman was dropped to the VFL after going goalless in seven successive matches, with the club deciding to move the former Demon to their backline to potentially reinvigorate the 26-year-old in a new role.

The move paid off early as Weideman managed to feature among Essendon's best performers against the Seagulls, recording 24 disposals and 13 marks alongside uncapped pairing Lewis Hayes and Rhett Montgomerie.

Weideman's promising efforts in defence, coupled with the timing of Ridley's setback, could see the forward be utilised as a defender for when Essendon host the Swans at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.

His coach confirmed he might've done enough to earn a recall, however the Bombers were yet to finalise their plans for Round 20.

"Yeah, he is (in the mix)," Scott told reporters on Wednesday.

"He played really well in defence given he probably played a half of footy in his life in defence.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 19: Sam Weideman of the Bombers celebrates a goal with Sam Draper of the Bombers during the 2023 AFL Round 01 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Essendon Bombers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 19, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"He's got a lot of attributes that suit playing as a key defender.

"We've still got to train. I don't like to preempt selection before we train and have the all facts available to us, but he's certainly an option."

Essendon could make multiple changes for this weekend as doubt lingers over forward Jake Stringer's playing prospects. Scott confirmed Stringer is "medically available" but might not be able to offer his best on gameday from a strength and power perspective.

Stringer will be a test at training over the coming days, while ruckman Sam Draper remains a week-to-week option at selection as he continues to battle a hip issue.

One name that could be brought into Scott's side is top five draft pick Elijah Tsatas, who, in Scott's eyes, is "very close" to a debut.

Tsatas has consistently been among the Bombers' best performers in the VFL over the past month, adding a further 23 disposals, seven tackles and seven clearances in the loss to Williamstown.

"He's an exciting player and he's got a lot of great attributes, and the temptation is to bring him in because he is exciting," Scott said of the teenager.

"But we want to set him up to succeed and have things we've wanted him to work on at VFL level. He's so coachable that the last two weeks he has really improved those areas.

"He's getting very close (to a debut)."

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 04: Charlie Lazzaro of North Melbourne chases Elijah Tsatas of Essendon during the round 11 VFL match between Essendon Bombers and North Melbourne Kangaroos at The Hangar on June 04, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Forward Jye Menzie and defender Massimo D'Ambrosio will also be in selection contention for Round 20, while fringe forward Patrick Voss may also be in the mix as Scott looks to find a partner for first-string tall Peter Wright.

Essendon faces Sydney in another crucial clash for their finals hopes, with the game to commence at 7:25pm (AEST) at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.