Tariq Sims may have played his last game for St George Illawarra after being hit hard by the NRL's match review committee for a high tackle that floored Cronulla's Connor Tracey.
Sims was on Sunday hit with a grade-three high tackle charge over the first-half shot, which led to the NSW State of Origin discard being sin-binned in the Dragons' 24-18 loss on Saturday night.
Bound for Melbourne next season, Sims now faces a four-match ban even with an early guilty plea.
If he elects to fight it at the judiciary and loses, that suspension would go out to five weeks and take into account the first week of the finals if the 11th-placed Dragons qualified.
The charge comes after Sims made forceful contact with Tracey's head for his third judicial offence of the season.
Tracey appeared to lose consciousness before he hit the ground and needed to be stretchered from the field; Sims followed shortly afterwards for a stint in the sin-bin.
Dragons captain Ben Hunt said on Saturday night it would be a shame for Sims' 123-game career at the Dragons to end with a suspension.
"I've played a lot of footy with Tariq. I really respect Tariq, he's a good mate," he said.
"If that was his final game for the Dragons, it would be very disappointing."
Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon said he was unsure whether the Dragons forward should have been sent off rather than sin-binned.
Tracey was up and about in the dressing rooms after the hit but could also be looking at some time out of the game.
Lachie Miller, Mawene Hiroti and Matt Ikuvalu are three possible replacements on the wing for the Sharks, who have already lost first-choice winger Sione Katoa to a season-ending shoulder injury.
"We've got some players who can fit right in there if need be. It's a next-man-up kind of mentality," Sharks playmaker Braydon Trindall told AAP.
Sharks captain Wade Graham said teammates and opponents alike were feeling for Tracey.
"It's never nice in those situations, for either team. No player goes out there to hurt another player like that," he said.
"It didn't look great at the time on the field and both teams knew that.
"It was good to see him after the game in good spirits."
Australian Associated Press
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