Round 6 of the 2020 season will be like no other when all matches this weekend are played across just four venues in two states.
The Essendon saga could see several players leave the club at the end of the year along with disgruntled support staff.
STORY LINK: JAMES HIRD RESIGNS AS ESSENDON COACH
Growing fear among fans is that several big names are set to leave the embattled club, forcing bosses to rethink their direction and starting a rebuild that could take years to bear fruit.
That can only happen if they get decisions right, starting with the axing of the coach.
James Hird has lost the confidence of some senior players and a split in the playing group has now formed, the results showing on the field in a disastrous season for the Bombers.
Neil Craig is said to be set to reunite with his former Crows boss, Steven Trigg, at Carlton in the role of coaching director. Craig has clashed with Hird over the direction of the team on the field.
Tom Bellchambers, who has suffered ankle injuries over the years, is a restricted free agent that has been tipped to go. Jake Carlisle is being pursued by St Kilda and Hawthorn while Tayte Pears has a decision to make.
There are currently up to 20 players uncontracted at the club and the WADA investigation is set to ramp up in November. Some of those players may never play again regardless of the outcome.
Some sections of the media have called for Jobe Watson to leave the club and pursue his career with another club given his mental state over the whole ASADA process. He has led the club well but one man can only take so much. The Bomber faithful would riot if he chose to spend his final footy years elsewhere, but deep down wouldn’t begrudge him the chance for a fresh start.
The club has very little currency in the trade market and players would be wary to join the club given what it is currently going through. Whether other clubs take the risk with the WADA appeal hanging over the heads of players is entirely up to the clubs themselves.
Given what Bomber Thompson revealed recently some players could just walk or sadly give the game away. Some players have shown on-field that they expect to be looking for a new job as soon as next month.
The wall is beginning to crack and once the dam bursts open, anything could happen.