West Coast's faint finals hopes are over and the club must brace itself to be without Matt Rosa and Josh Kennedy after a 28-point loss to Sydney at Patersons Stadium yesterday.
The 10.19 (79) to 7.9 (51) defeat left the Eagles three wins behind eighth-placed Gold Coast with seven rounds left.
And they face a run home without consistent contributor Rosa.
Coach Adam Simpson confirmed the midfielder appeared to have torn his right pectoral muscle and could miss the rest of the season.
Kennedy is likely to be suspended over a high bump that concussed Sydney defender Zak Jones and ended his match early.
West Coast's leading goal kicker elected to bump Jones, who had possession of the ball, just two minutes into the match.
Jones left the ground and was substituted out of the match just after quarter time.
The bump is likely to be assessed as high contact, medium impact and negligent conduct, resulting in a two-match ban with an early guilty plea.
Rosa, who re-signed with West Coast for another two years last week, sustained his injury in a third-term collision and played no further part.
"He's in a bit of strife," Simpson said. "I think he's hurt his pec muscle, so it'll be multiple weeks we'll find out tomorrow, but the early stages are that it's not good."
Simpson conceded it would be difficult to make the finals after losing in consecutive weeks to Fremantle and Sydney, teams he predicted would feature in this year's grand final.
"We need belief," he said.
"We need to understand that we're in games and there's opportunities where we can go to that next level and we're not quite doing that at the moment.
"We're competing and effort's been there I think for the last month, in particular. We've turned up to play and thrown the kitchen sink at sides and just haven't been good enough.
"There's areas of our game and personnel we've got to look at, no doubt."
Jeremy McGovern was dealt a reality check in just his sixth AFL appearance after being kept to three disposals before being substituted out in the third term.
"To think he was going to continue this rise of just up and up was now he's an official AFL senior player," Simpson said. "He had a bad one."
Sydney's 11th win in a row pushed them into top spot for the first time this season - one game clear of Hawthorn, Port Adelaide, Fremantle and Geelong.
Sydney coach John Longmire praised the contribution of Adam Goodes, who booted three goals in breaking the AFL games record for an indigenous player of 340 matches previously held by Andrew McLeod.