A temporary goodbye. Taylor Kinney has exited Chicago Fire for an undisclosed amount of time. In March 2023, the series addressed his character Kelly Severide’s temporary departure from Firehouse 51. Scroll for details on why he decided to step away from the show. 

Why Did Kelly Severide Leave ‘Chicago Fire’?

Season 11 began airing in September 2022 after Jesse Spencer departed the show to pursue other projects. He returned for Kelly’s wedding to Stella Kidd at the end of season 10, serving as the best man, but has not been back since. News of Taylor’s break from the show followed soon after. 

Is Taylor Kinney Leaving 'Chicago Fire'? Severide Absence
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During an episode on Wednesday, March 1, Taylor’s character was sent off to join “the best arson investigation training program in the world” after developing a passion for analyzing fire-related crimes. The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was presented to Kelly by Captain Tom Van Meter who assured his squad that the beloved lieutenant would be back eventually. 

“It doesn’t mean he’s planning a transfer to OFI,” Tom told Wallace Boden during the episode. “And I know it’ll be a burden on this house for a while. But the expertise Severide will bring back here to 51 will benefit the whole department.”

When Will Taylor Kinney Return to ‘Chicago Fire’?

Taylor’s temporary departure from Chicago Fire might have come as a surprise to some fans. In January, it was revealed he was taking “a leave of absence to deal with a personal matter,” per Deadline. The Shameless alum did not reveal any further details on why he was taking a break, nor did he share when he would return to Chicago Fire

Ahead of the season 11 finale in May, it was revealed that the Pennsylvania native would not appear in the episode. Instead, returning favorite Jesse signed on for another guest appearance after previously leaving the show.

Taylor has been a main cast member of the show since season 1 premiered in 2012. The Pennsylvania native has also taken a brief hiatus from posting on social media, with his last Instagram photo shared in December 2022. Though he’s remained mum on his future on the series, Taylor did express that he was grateful to be a part of the long-running drama. 

“It’s never lost on me how special it is to be a part of something with [the] longevity this has, and it’s a testament to [executive producer] Dick Wolf [and] the team of people that he puts together,” the Zero Dark Thirty star told Us Weekly in May 2022 ahead of the latest season. “I’m excited for season 11. I’m not privy to script’s information of where they’re going with it.”