As Taylor Kinney’s departure looms from One Chicago, NBC may have just set up Kelly Severide’s impending exit in Chicago Fire season 11, episode 14.

Warning! Spoilers ahead for Chicago Fire season 11, episode 14. Chicago Fire season 11, episode 14 may have just laid the groundwork for Kelly Severide’s impending exit. Since news broke out that the actor is taking a break from One Chicago, theories have started floating around about how his looming absence will be explained. While Chicago Fire isn’t new to losing main cast members, Severide’s upcoming departure will have a massive impact on the show’s ongoing year since it isn’t planned. In fact, NBC was even forced to rewrite the rest of the year to accommodate his request.

The specific reason for Kinney’s Chicago PD exit is still uncertain, but it reportedly has to do with him having to deal with a personal matter. Regardless of the reason, NBC and Wolf Entertainment’s work is cut out for them. While Chicago PD is an ensemble show at its core, Kinney’s Severide is widely regarded as its face, especially after Jesse Spencer left as Matt Casey. Given that, it only makes sense that the show is gradually setting up Squad 3 Lieutenant’s departure.

Related: Chicago Fire Could Ruin Severide (Like Chicago PD Did With Halstead)

Severide’s Secret Text Could Be How Chicago Fire Explains Kinney’s Absence

Chicago Fire Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide

Chicago Fire season 11, episode 14, “Run Like Hell” barely features Severide aside from his occasional conversations with Stella Kidd and involvement in Mouch McHolland’s fire-investigating arc. His biggest scene comes at the very end of the outing, however, where he shows his wife an intriguing text. After all of Chicago Fire season 11 death fakeouts, it’s an understatement to say that the newlyweds have gone through a lot. However, whatever is in that message could very well be how the show explains Severide’s looming absence at Firehouse 51.

The fact that Kinney’s role in recent Chicago Fire season 11 episodes has been noticeably reduced is an indication that Severide is being eased out of the show. Seeing how rushed Jay Halstead’s exit from Chicago PD was, this is definitely the best way to do this. If anything, since Jesse Lee Soffer’s departure is permanent, it would have been easier to write him out of the police procedural, and yet, NBC still dropped the ball when it came to his swan song. At least, it seems like One Chicago is being more delicate with the way it justifies Severide’s indefinite absence in Chicago Fire.

What Severide’s Mysterious Text In Chicago Fire Season 11 Could Be

Chicago Fire Kelly Severide and Stella Kidd

Unfortunately, the Dick Wolf-produced series barely gave any indication as to what the text message may be about. Between Kidd’s reaction and Severide’s serious face, however, it seems big enough that both of them need to be involved in his next step moving forward in Chicago Fire. Perhaps it may have to do something with Severide’s ties to OFI, especially considering all the drama and controversy that have been happening there. It makes sense that Severide’s tied up in their matter given his long working relationship with them. Otherwise, it could be a family matter that will effectively explain why he needs to go out of town for a while.

Chicago Fire season 11 airs Thursdays on NBC.

More: Chicago PD’s 200th Episode Hints At Finally Fixing A Big Trudy Mistake

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