The Crows last night named an unchanged side, but this morning opted to sideline the young midfielder, who missed the entire 2015 season with a persistent foot injury.
Perennial fringe-dweller Jarryd Lyons will play in his stead, coming off an emergency bench that now consists of former captain Nathan van Berlo, young gun Riley Knight and midfielder Cam Ellis-Yolmen.
Crows General Manager High Performance Brett Burton said the Crows would be risk-averse with the eldest Crouch brother, whose sibling Matt has been in bullocking form this year.
“Brad experienced some hamstring tightness during training on Wednesday,” Burton told the club’s website.
“We will take a conservative approach with him and assess him again during the week.”
Crouch’s form has been building steadily in the opening rounds. He was dropped for an alcohol breach ahead of his comeback pre-season game, but impressed with a 40-touch best-on-ground display for Adelaide’s SANFL side.
Port Adelaide, meanwhile, have summoned a debutant while dropping another rookie for tonight’s danger game against Essendon.
The game is the first of only two Friday night fixtures for the Power, and will be later beamed to a global audience of potentially several million via a deal with Chinese state television network CCTV – making it billed as the biggest audience ever for a home and away match.
The Power named 20-year-old utility Darcy Byrne-Jones among three changes for their side to host an unchanged Essendon side at Adelaide Oval.
Byrne-Jones, recruited by Port in the third round of the 2013 national draft selection from Victorian under 18 club Oakleigh Chargers, joins Karl Amon and Paul Stewart in Port’s line-up.
The trio replace injured Alipate Carlile (broken wrist) and Chad Wingard (hamstring) while Dougal Howard has been dumped after making his AFL debut in Port’s heavy loss to Adelaide last Saturday.
“We have to be calculated and composed about what we’re trying to do because it’s a long season and we have got lots to work on at the moment,” Port coach Ken Hinkley said.
“Football is never as bad it seems and it’s never as good as it seems. But right now it feels like it has got some work to be done in a hurry.”
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has axed three players for the Crows clash in response to last week’s humiliating late capitulation to Collingwood.
The Tigers have endured a barrage of criticism about their leadership and culture since blowing a two goal lead to lose to Collingwood by a point.
Hardwick and his fellow selectors dumped Taylor Hunt, Jacob Townsend and Ben Griffiths for their Saturday afternoon encounter at Etihad Stadium.
Richmond also lost Dylan Grimes to a hamstring injury, while recalling Troy Chaplin, Daniel Rioli, Ben Lennon and Shane Edwards, who has recovered from a broken hand.
Collingwood made four changes as well – and just one was forced, the loss of 21-year-old defender Jackson Ramsay to a season-ending knee injury at training.
The Magpies named former Melbourne utility Jeremy Howe for his first game for the club and also recalled Brayden Maynard, veteran Tyson Goldsack and Matthew Goodyear.
The Pies omitted Brent Macaffer, Corey Gault and Jack Frost, while the Saints – seeking their first win of the season – recalled Darren Minchington at the expense of Jade Gresham.
Sydney and Greater Western Sydney made one change each for their Saturday night encounter at the SCG – the Swans dropped Dean Towers and brought in Ben McGlynn, and the Giants recalled evergreen backman Joel Patfull to replace the injured Caleb Marchbank (ankle).
West Coast and Fremantle also made one alteration each for their grudge match on Saturday night in Perth.
The Eagles summoned Chris Masten in favour of Jamie Bennell (omitted) while Freo recalled Matt De Boer to replace Clancee Pearce (hamstring).
Carlton, chasing a breakthrough win against Gold Coast on Saturday night, lost Andrejs Everitt and Jed Lamb to injury and omitted Simon White, with Dylan Buckley, Mark Whiley and Ciaran Byrne the replacements.
The unbeaten Suns called on winger Matt Rosa from a one-match absence because of a calf complaint to replace Callum Ah Chee (illness) for the Metricon Stadium match.
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