Carlton must “monitor” Patrick Cripps’ workload to avoid running the risk of burning him out, according to Tim Watson.
It comes after former coach Mick Malthouse warned the Blues of the potential danger of wearing out the Blues captain, who has played 917 midfield minutes this season – the most of any player in the competition.
Cripps, 24, shoulders an enormous burden in what is a struggling Carlton side who sit last on the AFL ladder with one win from their opening nine games.
“You’ve got to remember he is still a young man,” Watson told SEN Breakfast.
“He’s got enormous emotional baggage with this team as well as physical baggage.
“I think you’ve got to monitor that, for somebody so young and somebody that does the power of work that he does inside the contest.”
The Essendon great believes the additional attention the star Blue is receiving from opposition clubs will only increase his already heavy workload.
Cripps was restricted to just three kicks and 12 disposals in the loss to GWS in Round 9, well down on his season average of 28.7.
“Clubs are coming at him,” Watson added.
“We’ve seen that two of the last three weeks that they have come at him specifically to try and stop him, so that’s an extra weight that he is carrying at the moment."
Listen to the best bits of Wednesday morning’s edition of SEN Breakfast in the player below