Yesterday the Crows were unable to pinch a win against a Fyfe-less Fremantle in Perth. They now sit 10th on the ladder with a record of 6-6 just ten months after their Grand Final loss. As the season passes its midway point it is looking more and more like the Crows will not be there in September.
Injury has played a massive part in Adelaide’s plight. It started in last year’s qualifying final against Greater Western Sydney when Brodie Smith did his ACL. It hasn’t gotten much better since then for the Crows with major issues for Brad Crouch, Rory Sloane and Mitch McGovern. Matt Crouch, Taylor Walker, Rory Laird and Tom Lynch have all missed games due to injury as well.
Next year Eddie Betts turns 33, Richard Douglas 32, Sam Jacobs 31, and Josh Jenkins 30. History has told us that they can’t expect the same output from that group in 2019 than they got from them in 2017. Rory Sloane is still unsigned and many are expecting him to leave via free agency.
The Crows are feeling the hurt from the draft sanctions they received for the Kurt Tippett fiasco now. In 2012 they surrendered their first two draft picks for the scandal and before the 2013 draft they had their first and second rounders stripped by the AFL. The players they could have taken with those picks would now be entering their prime.
It isn’t all doom and gloom for Adelaide though. The season is far from over and there is still a chance to regain many of their injured players and make a late push for finals. The Crows are also incredibly well set for the 2018 draft which many draft watchers are calling one of the best ever for how talented its top end is. At this point thanks to the Jake Lever trade Adelaide hold picks 8, 15, 20 and 38. Compensation for Sloane would mean the Crows would enter the super draft with an incredible three first round picks. It might not be long before the Crows are a September force again.