Cameron McInnes has played every game this year for St George Illawarra but he won't be playing the last one after suffering a broken leg in the 42-14 loss to the Wests Tigers on Sunday.
An uneasy quiet came over the SCG as McInnes had to be helped from the field by two Dragons training staff as he could not put any weight on his right leg.
"He's got to go for X-rays of course but the diagnosis is a broken leg. He asked the doc how long it might be so he could get back to training," coach Paul McGregor said.
"That's Cam. You want them all like that. He'll go for his scan and what's next is unknown due to the fact it could heal on its own, or it might need a screw or a plate."
Ben Hunt will most likely take over the No.9 duties for round 25 and McGregor expects Corey Norman (groin) to be fit to resume duties in the halves.
Either way McInnes won't be there to play his last game with skipper Gareth Widdop when the Dragons travel north to the Gold Coast to face the Titans.
McGregor reflected on how cruel rugby league can be for some players.
Match Highlights: Dragons v Wests Tigers
"Six minutes to go [to full-time] … and to a player who gives everything and some more ... He's certainly been our best player by far. So to come to the second last game and break a leg is not justice, that's for sure."
It also didn't seem fair that Widdop – an international player who won a premiership with Storm in 2012 – finishes his NRL career in a match where 15th plays 16th on the Telstra Premiership ladder.
"It's a hard pill to swallow for him, for sure, especially with that blow-out score towards the end [against Tigers]," McGregor said.
"After giving great service for many years … and he's fought back [from injury] to play with the group and unfortunately it hasn't finished the way he wanted it to."
Every Dragons fan would be saying "here here" to that. So where did it all go wrong?
McGregor said he felt all the expected emotions at present – frustration, disappointment, and anger – but would not shy away from his part in it all.
"I'm the coach; I'm the leader of the club. We've all got to take responsibility throughout the club but I'm the coach," he said.
Finally on the injury front, winger Zac Lomax is also in doubt for the tussle with the Titans. In the 53rd minute he was falling into a tackle at speed from Tigers fullback Corey Thompson, when he was clipped accidentally on the back of the head by Tigers centre Esan Marsters's knee.
Lomax lay on the SCG turf and after he regained consciousness Dragons trainers held his neck while performing other tests.
"A young bloke being knocked out is not a great thing so we'll make sure we put the care and well-being around Zac before he plays next week," McGregor said.
McInnes leaves the field with leg injury
"It's only a six-day turnaround so we have to be wary of that as well."
The Dragons were in Sunday's contest at the 55th minute trailing by just a try, 18-14.
But then Paul Momirovski, Benji Marshall, Luke Brooks and Elijah Taylor crossed the stripe and the gate slammed shut.
"We gifted them 24 points from the execution on our kicking game and passing game, which is not professional enough and to a standard that we need," McGregor said.
"So obviously I've got to coach a lot better for the players to be better."