St George Illawarra prop Paul Vaughan heard a pop in his leg on Saturday afternoon and Dragons fans couldn't be blamed for asking if their season was starting to go with it.
Burnt previously by end-of-season fade-outs, the Saints gave their supporters every reason to relive past horrors following Saturday's 18-12 loss to the Warriors in Wollongong.
Competition front-runners for the opening four months of the season, the Dragons could now finish the round level on points with Penrith and Cronulla if both those teams win on Sunday.
They have a favourable run home, but could be forced to do it without NSW Origin prop Vaughan after he limped from the field early and left the ground in a moon boot.
"Not great ... he's not sure if it's his knee or his ankle. He heard something pop," Dragons coach Paul McGregor.
"He's concerned at the moment but we'll have to wait until we get a scan and go from there.
"But it doesn't look promising at all."
The Dragons fell away last year and in 2015. They know questions are inevitable.
After winning 12 of their first 15, they've dropped four of their past five.
Not only haven't they beaten a fellow top-eight team since round nine, but they've lost their past five on the trot to finals-bound sides.
And McGregor admitted that some players appeared mentally tired after a taxing representative period where five stars played State of Origin and another three went to Denver.
"Possibly - there were a lot of hands on hips after 20 or 25 minutes," McGregor said when quizzed on the fatigue factor.
"(The questions about fade-outs) aren't going away until we win. I've got a different playing group and we're in a different position to before."
The Dragons also had their grievances.
McGregor asked why no Warriors were sin-binned in a second-half where they gave away six penalties to one, constantly stifling the Dragons' momentum.
It marked the second time that's happened this year, after McGregor had similar issues following their loss in Auckland.
"Six penalties against the opposition in the second half and no-one goes to the bin, and four inside the 20m zone," he said.
"But that's not an excuse."