Brisbane's hooking crisis has reached new depths after fill-in rake Josh McGuire suffered an ankle injury in Thursday's gritty NRL win over South Sydney.
McGuire was on Friday diagnosed with a torn anterior ligament and could require surgery.
The club could not put on a timeline on his return but he is out for the forseeable future.
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett admitted his dummy-half stocks were running dangerously low and was unsure as to who would wear the No.9 jersey against Canterbury next Thursday.
With Andrew McCullough (elbow) out, McGuire started against the Rabbitohs but lasted only 47 minutes.
Bennett categorically ruled out using Sam Thaiday at dummy-half after his poor showing as starting hooker in the season opener against St George Illawarra.
Kodi Nikorima slotted in the position at stages but he's an unlikely option.
He's never started at hooker and asking him to play 80 minutes in the middle of the field is a big ask for the 83kg utility.
"Well, it's an option," Bennett said of starting Nikorima at No.9.
Pushed further on his other candidates, Bennett said: "You tell me. Sam's off the table."
Todd Murphy could earn his debut in the No.9 despite being primarily seen as a half.
He trained at No.9 with the Broncos throughout the pre-season and could be their best option in desperate circumstances.