Gary Ablett was devastated when he limped off with a hamstring injury that cruelled Geelong's AFL hopes against West Coast.
Soon after Ablett limped from the field in the last quarter at Optus Stadium on Sunday, the Eagles snatched the lead and won by 15 points.
The Eagles went on a six-goal purple patch in 10 minutes on Sunday to win 14.11 (95) to 11.14 (80).
Geelong had also lost Nakia Cockatoo and Cam Guthrie to injury during the match, meaning they were down to one fit man on the bench when Ablett was hurt.
Ablett, 33, also suffered a hamstring injury during the pre-season.
There has been a lot of hype around the two-time Brownlow Medallist's return to Geelong after seven years at Gold Coast.
But this is a massive setback, especially given Ablett's age and his spate of injuries in the past few years.
Also on Sunday, the Western Bulldogs rallied from two bad losses to beat Essendon by 21 points at Etihad Stadium.
Bombers coach John Worsfold said the 14.20 (104) to 12.11 (83) loss compared with some of their worst football in 2016, when Essendon had a large group of players serving anti-doping suspensions and finished last.
"I don't even think in 2016 we potentially played that poorly," Worsfold said.
At the MCG, Richmond held on against a fast-finishing Hawthorn to win by 13 points.
Hawks star Tom Mitchell racked up 42 possessions - his third-straight game of 40-plus disposals to start the season - but the Tigers were better overall and won 15.12 (102) to 13.11 (89).
Tigers coach Damien Hardwick was concerned by the last quarter, saying his team stopped trying to win, while Hawks counterpart Alastair Clarkson was pleased his players ran out the game well and kicked five of the last six goals.
After three rounds, Port Adelaide sit atop the ladder as the only unbeaten team.
But the Power had to survive a huge scare from Brisbane at Adelaide Oval on Saturday before winning by five points.
Greater Western Sydney suffered their first loss of the season when cross-town rivals Sydney beat them by 16 points on Saturday at the SCG.
Gold Coast played their "home" game in Perth on Saturday, with Metricon Stadium unavailable because of the Commonwealth Games.
The Suns also suffered their first loss under new coach Stuart Dew, with Fremantle winning by 28 points.
Melbourne snapped a run of 17 losses against North Melbourne when they overcame a slow start to win by 37 points on Saturday at the MCG.
Adelaide improved to 2-1 after they piled the pain on winless St Kilda, beating them by 49 points on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium.
Eddie Betts kicked three goals, hours after his wife gave birth to twin girls.
Collingwood broke through for their first win of the season on Friday night, beating Carlton by 24 points.