The time might finally come, perhaps, when Rick Grimes will no longer lead the citizens of the Alexandria Safe Zone on "The Walking Dead." Andrew Lincoln, the English actor who plays the character Rick, is rumored to be seeking an exit from the series during season 9 according to Collider journalist Dave Trumbore who posted the exclusive news.

Still reeling from the loss of Carl Grimes

Both Rick and the fans are still awestruck by the recent and devastating loss of Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, who senselessly died on the show last season. His death was a significant departure from the story in the comic books that the television show is derived from.

While fans might expect some variance from the source material, Carl's death seemingly set the show back two steps instead of advancing the story in a meaningful way.

Last season Rick tried to satisfy both Negan and Jadis but the former law officer got caught in the middle of a double cross and the army he desired to battle Negan with The Heapsters never materialized in a meaningful way.

Richonne would no longer be a thing

Michonne, played by actor Danai Gurira, has a tough road ahead, assuming she survives. The warrior and current substitute mother of Lori Grimes' child would walk a shallow and lonesome road ahead without her family, friends, and lover. The union the fandom has come to call Richonne would no longer exist and the sword-wielding warrior might stray far from the path of sanity.

Can she pull things together and raise Judith to be a strong survivor her father and brother would be proud of, or will she let the child become zombie food? The situation can go to dark places, as does often happen in zombie apocalypse stories.

Rick won the war, but Negan's fate is undecided

Trumbore reports that Lincoln will be seen in at least a half-dozen episodes next season before making his exit. While the show still has, for now, stars such as Norman Reedus and Lauren Cohan, this proves that absolutely no one is safe in "The Walking Dead" universe.

While it seems a little too late in the series to deviate heavily from the source material, the writers are now tasked to figure out what to do with Negan, played by actor Jeffery Dean Morgan. In the comic books, Negan developed a relationship with Carl but since Riggs has left the series a huge plot point must be reconsidered to fit into the new narrative. It's tough to say what fans will think about "The Walking Dead" without Rick Grimes but one thing is certain, their approval or disdain will be reflected by the ratings the show earns as it grinds towards the tenth season.