Taylor Kinney’s absence from Chicago Fire has been a mystery. Not the absence itself, which was announced several weeks before his last episode, but because the cause of the absence has not yet been explained.
It has been stated that Kinney, who plays Kelly Severide on the show, is taking a leave of absence and that there are tentative plans to have him return. It makes sense, given that the writing off of the Severide character was downplayed in comparison to the exits of other long-time characters.
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Kinney has not issued a statement addressing his status on the show, and none of the other Fire cast or crew have spoken up beyond the initial announcement. The same goes for Kinney’s current girlfriend, Ashley Cruger, who appeared in an earlier season 11 episode as an extra.
Cruger, who is a professional model, took to Instagram for the first time since Kinney’s absence was announced. Fans were no doubt intrigued to see if she would address what’s been going on in their personal lives, or if she would provide any updates on Kinney’s return to the show, but she did neither.
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Instead, Cruger posted a photo of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, which was originally posted on the official Formula 1 Instagram account. There wasn’t any additional text or content provided, but fans flooded the comments, noting that they’re happy to see Cruger back on social media and hope that it spells out good things for both her and Kinney.
Kinney’s absence has been arguably the biggest story to come out of Chicago Fire season 11, and its ironic that the only story that has matched it in terms of exposure is the return of another long time cast member, Jesse Spencer. Spencer, who spent the first ten seasons of the show alongside Kinney, will be coming back for an episode to help smooth over Kinney’s absence.
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