Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks says he was praying Tom Doedee would pull out of the unwinnable contest that left the star defender with suspected concussion and blurred vision.
Doedee ran back with the flight of the ball deep in defence at Marvel Stadium on Friday night and collided with leading Essendon forward Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti in a huge clash of bodies.
The 24-year-old stayed down for some time but was able to take himself off the field and was substituted out of the match, which the Crows lost by 63 points after kicking the lowest score in the AFL club's history.
Nicks praised Doedee's bravery but said such dangerous situations are something he will keep working on with his players.
"I'm not sure that ball's ever there to go for," Nicks said post-match.
"Tommy's so courageous, (so) to tell him to stop doing that, we'd take away what's been his weapon to this point in his short career.
"He loves the contest, he embraces physicality, he wants to put his body on the line for his team - it's just a matter of when and where.
"I'll have to look (at the replay) but at the time I was praying that he would pull out. It's a tough one."
Doedee later took to social media to thank fans for their messages of support.
"Appreciate all the concern and thoughts," he posted on Twitter.
"Feeling great besides a sore chest. Didn't think someone would be leading up at the ball, found out the hard way someone was though.
"Shoutout to Tippa (McDonald-Tipungwuti) for checking in with me straight after the game, genuine legend."
Doedee will likely miss the encounter with West Coast at Adelaide Oval in round 18 but the Crows could welcome back spearhead Taylor Walker from a neck strain.
Walker's return would add some much-needed firepower in attack as Adelaide attempt to bounce back from what Nicks branded an "embarrassing" display against Essendon.
"It's a hard one to swallow," Nicks said after the 11.18 (84) to 2.9 (21) loss.
"I feel for our supporters who have watched us for most of the year and would've felt great about where this group's heading.
"We're still heading in that direction (but) this one is a huge step backwards.
"The key from here is for us to regather ourselves and get back to what we do really well."
Adelaide's previous lowest score was in 2011 when they kicked 3.6 (24) against St Kilda in what turned out to be Neil Craig's last game as coach.