BRISBANE has been dealt a massive blow ahead of its match against Adelaide on Sunday, losing key defender Jack Payne.

Payne played in Saturday night's win over Gold Coast but has suffered delayed concussion and will be unavailable to face the Crows.

It's a huge loss for the second-placed Lions, with the 23-year-old becoming an integral part of the backline through the opening 10 rounds alongside co-captain Harris Andrews.

Jack Payne handballs during Brisbane's preliminary final against Geelong at the MCG on September 16, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

The Lions will now have to stop a stacked Crows forward line, which is set to be boosted by the returns of Taylor Walker (rested) and Riley Thilthorpe (knee), without one of their best defenders.

Payne has been given an extended run in the team following the ongoing concussion issues for Marcus Adams that saw him put on Brisbane's inactive list.

He shot to prominence in the round eight win over Carlton, where he kept Coleman medallist Charlie Curnow to just one goal.

Payne's absence could open the door for Darcy Gardiner to play his first game of 2023.

Gardiner has played the past two VFL games following off-season shoulder surgery and early season foot and adductor issues.