GEELONG's dominant Round 2 encounter with Hawthorn and the healthy state of its list will make it difficult for those outside last week's best 22.
The Cats did not have an inter-club match simulation with the Hawks, meaning this coming Saturday will be the first chance for the non-selected players to get match practice against AFL opposition.
As such it remains likely that many returning Cats will be held over for Round 4 consideration, allowing them a competitive hit-out against the Blues Reserves before an AFL return.
Head coach Chris Scott all but put a line through the new Cat at his Wednesday morning press conference.
"He'll play in some capacity this week, I'm happy to say more than likely in that match simulation against Carlton," Scott said.
"Yes, it's a conservative call, but we've got an opportunity for him to get some match practice that he hasn't been able to get for the last three or months."
VFL head coach Shane O'Bree watched Steven put through his paces on GMHBA Stadium before the club's Round Two encounter with Hawthorn.
"It’s a hundred miles an hour with Jack, it’s exciting to watch," O'Bree says.
"He’s good enough to know when to slow down and find the right option or keep going and finish his work off."
Midfield coach Matthew Knights labelled Jordan Clark 'stiff' to miss against the Hawks earlier in the week and it's clear head coach Chris Scott agrees.
Scott was quick to shoot down any speculation from the media that the omission was anything other than a tactical decision.
"It was just a function of we had a pretty full list to pick from and a few things with our mix down back and in the midfield meant that he was the one that was squeezed," Scott says.
"The only time that players need a wakeup call is if they’re not being diligent enough in their approach and their professionalism towards their game - that’s certainly not the case with Jordan.
"Certainly, the way he’s prepared himself has been exceptional for a second-year player. He’s in the shape of his career. He’s a better player now than he was in Round One in my view."
"He’s well aware he’s right on the edge and he’s probably the example as much as any player that we just won’t leave in our VFL team for too long provided he’s doing everything he can to get himself ready, which he is."
Shane O'Bree has been impressed with Clark's application to training following the disappointment of non-selection.
"He’s got that many assets that we need him in the AFL team. We’re putting extra education into him," O'Bree says.
"His attitude towards it all has been great too because he understands he’s young and he needs to learn and get better.
"When he comes back in we don’t want to see him back in the VFL we want to see him holding his spot and becoming a really good AFL player."
The new Cat and powerful forward is continuing to deal with a back issue.
"It's a facet joint issue that can turn around really quickly or can linger a little bit," Scott said.
"To be honest, it's lingering a bit more than we would've liked right at the moment.
"That rules him out of this week… it’s a bit of a shame for Josh because he was in pretty good shape too."
Chris Scott also revealed that Jake Kolodjashnij was most-likely in the same boat as Jack Steven, with the coaches leaning towards giving him a run against the Carlton Reserves.
"I think that’s the way we’ll go, we haven’t decided absolutely yet. The fact that this is the first chance we’ve got for some genuine match practice for Jake since the finals last year probably tips the balance in favour of him playing some match practice."
"It might be a bit unfair on Jake because he’s such an important player for us and been training really well and done nothing wrong. He’s just been deprived of some opportunity for some match practice," Scott says.
Shane O'Bree liked what he saw from the reliable defender in Friday night's intra-club hitout.
"The break has helped him a lot, he's been able to get an extra pre-season in," O'Bree says.
"Playing last week against our younger forwards, his body positioning was great and they learnt a lot playing on a good defender like Kola."