Technically, the dreaded hook didn't come out for Jack Bird.
But the maligned half still looks set to miss game time along with boom prop Payne Haas after Brisbane's 22-20 NRL win over Canterbury.
NSW State of Origin star Bird slipped and suffered a quad complaint while Haas (ankle) left Thursday night's win at Suncorp Stadium in a moon boot.
At first Bird appeared to have been unceremoniously benched by Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett when he came off the field for the final 10 minutes with the match on the line after another quiet game at halfback.
"It looks like the old fashioned hook," Fox Sports commentator Braith Anasta said when Cronulla recruit Bird left the field.
But Bennett insisted Bird was battling injury after slipping in the lead-up to the Bulldogs' 65th try to Kerrod Holland.
Bird tried to gather a Will Hopoate kick metres from his own line but slipped over, gifting Holland a four pointer that gave the visitors a 20-14 lead.
"When he slipped over he felt his quad tighten up a bit. I don't think he will be available next week," Bennett said of Bird.
Bird made just 25m from three runs in his fourth game in the Broncos halves alongside Anthony Milford.
Anasta believed Bird's misfiring display will not be helping his NSW selection chances ahead of June 6's series opener.
Bird was considered a contender to partner James Maloney in the Blues halves.
"Bird's only run the ball three times in the whole match playing in the halves," Anasta said.
"You want him to run the ball, that's why you've got him there.
"I know the NSW selectors are looking at him to play five-eighth for the Blues, well this will do his chances a lot of harm."
Injury may yet sabotage Bird's NSW claims with Bennett not confident the star would be fit for next week's away clash with Manly.
Also in doubt is Haas after he lasted just six minutes off the bench on Thursday night backing up from last round's dream debut.
Haas, 19, at first appeared concussed when he got up unsteadily on his feet from Bulldogs prop David Klemmer's monster 56th minute hit and had to be escorted off the field.
But Haas was later seen in a moon boot, sounding alarm bells for Brisbane's pack which is already without Test forwards Josh McGuire (ankle) and Matt Gillett (neck).
"To think we have got two Australian forwards not playing for us, we lost Payne pretty quickly and (still won) so it's pleasing," Bennett said.
"We were behind all night but they did not give up - they are qualities you want to see in your football team."