Collingwood is bracing to be without Ben Reid and Dayne Beams for the rest of the season after a costly night coach Nathan Buckley labelled a "perfect storm".

The Magpies' injury crisis went from bad to worse when Beams and Travis Cloke joined Reid, Scott Pendlebury and Jamie Elliott as casualties on Saturday night against the Brisbane Lions.

After being rocked by the late withdrawal of Pendlebury (quad) and Elliott (hamstring soreness), the Pies had to contend with losing Reid to a hamstring four minutes into the game.

They had to replace Reid with Tony Armstrong, who was the late substitute after Pendlebury hurt his leg in the warm-up. Armstrong played a full game of VFL earlier in the day.

Buckley said the Pies' night went as wrong as things could.

"I have been in the caper 20 years now as a player and coach and I can't remember a night like it," Buckley said.

"And what is more, I thought we came up against an opposition that were clearly up and about, they were running as strong at the end of the game as they were at the beginning.

"It was going to take a bit of work to curtail them, meet them and surpass them even with all of our troops at our disposal."

The Pies lost by 67 points after being reduced to one fit player on the bench when Beams went down in the third quarter.

Buckley predicted Reid's year could be over with a right hamstring strain while the initial diagnosis on Beams' left knee injury was an issue with his posterior cruciate ligament.

Cloke (left ankle) and Pendlebury (right quad) require scans and the Magpies expect to know more in the next 24 hours.

Buckley said Saturday night's loss was a snapshot of the Pies' season where "too much has been left to too few too often" because of personnel constraints.

He said the soft tissue plague, which has now claimed another three players, could have occurred because some Magpies have been "exposed" when called upon to stand up.

"That's probably a product of the load blokes have been asked to carry throughout the year as well, it's accumulative," he said.

"It all comes into play. Part of being able to perform is having your best players on the park.

"Having everyone - the depth of your list - up and running, and available, feeling good, physically, mentally, emotionally. And we haven't had that.

"We've had some guys that played tonight that have been exposed because they haven't had pre-seasons.

"So we will need to get a full pre-season into our squad, we will need to be physically better prepared, and to this point, we haven't been able to share the load often enough." 

Buckley said the Pies wouldn't "go meekly into a corner" despite the tough ask they now face to make the finals.

He said Saturday night was a reminder of the ruthless and uncompromising nature of the competition where players had to get "everything right".

But he said the night's scenario, where Armstrong had to play two VFL games, youngsters Ben Kennedy and Tim Broomhead couldn't rotate in the second half and Jarrod Witts was spent after a long season, wasn't something you expected to combine.

"You can’t leave anything in the tank," he said.

"There’s not one weights session, not one recovery session, not one team meeting or review...every fibre of your being needs to be invested in giving yourself the best chance of being the one that is standing at the top of the heap when everyone else falls, or, when anyone else breaks mentally, physically, emotionally – don’t be the one that breaks.

"We were the one that broke tonight physically. I reckon we held on mentally for a while but by the end you are pushing the proverbial up hill with a pointy stick and it was tough going."