Boyd, Abbey give Raiders more concerns

Scott Bailey

Canberra's faint hopes of an NRL finals run have taken another hit with former Kangaroos prop Shannon Boyd sidelined for up to three weeks with a calf injury.

Boyd hurt his left leg early in the Raiders' come-from-behind win over Canterbury on Saturday, before later limping off Belmore Oval in the second half.

It comes as second-rower Joseph Tapine also faces two weeks on the sideline if he pleads guilty to a dangerous contact charge on the Bulldogs' Michael Lichaa.

Stand-in fullback Brad Abbey will also miss one week with a concussion, the result of being flung to the ground late in the win.

Abbey was set to wear the No.1 jersey for at least the next four weeks, with the Raiders in discussions with the NRL about how long to stand down regular fullback Jack Wighton.

Wighton has pleaded guilty to six charges in ACT Magistrates Court - including two of assault occasioning actual bodily harm - but his sentencing has been postponed until November.

The Raiders have made clear they will stand by Wighton and it's widely believed they want to impose a six-game ban on the 25-year-old, which would include two matches already missed.

However, the NRL could push for a longer suspension and are set to enter into discussions with the club about the matter.

Regardless, it's set to force another backline reshuffle this week against North Queensland at home on Saturday night.

The Raiders are hopeful Jordan Rapana will return from a hamstring tear which would mean he could play on the wing and Nick Cotric could shift to fullback as cover.

Alternatively if Rapana is still out regular five-eighth Blake Austin could move into the custodian role, having been the Raiders' best despite playing just 16 minutes against the Bulldogs after being dropped to the bench.

Canberra remain six points out of the top eight with seven wins to their name and would realistically need to win up to six of their last eight to play finals football.

However their run home includes games against the likes of Cronulla, Melbourne, Penrith, the Sydney Roosters and South Sydney and Warriors - all teams currently in the top eight.