“Grey’s Anatomy” will say goodbye to another original cast member on Thursday. Dr. Alex Karev will officially be written out of the show in Season 16, episode 16, but fans know that they won’t get to see him in the episode.

Actor Justin Chambers revealed in January that he had finished working on the ABC drama in the middle of Season 16, and it was later confirmed that the Nov. 14 episode (which was not a sendoff) was his final appearance. So how will “Grey’s Anatomy” write off a character without showing him? We have a few theories:

Sudden Death — Working at Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital automatically increases the chances that a doctor will die tragically. Even Derek “McDreamy” Shepard (Patrick Dempsey) was dealt this fate when he was hit by a car after saving someone’s life. George O’Malley (T.R. Knight) was hit by a bus and injured to a point where he was unrecognizable. Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh) was killed by debris from a plane crash while Mark Sloan (Eric Dane) died from complications months after that crash.

Those are just the more memorable “Grey’s” doctor deaths. The show hasn't had a murder in a while. Alex could easily be dead in the basement, and it would be just another day in the life at Grey-Sloan.

The trailer for Thursday’s “Grey’s Anatomy” certainly makes it feel like death is a plausible theory.

Izzie — Recent episodes have clarified that Alex never actually visited his mentally ill mother, and now his wife Jo (Camilla Luddington) isn’t even sure where her husband went. For Alex to voluntarily and secretly leave Jo for someone besides his ailing mother, he’d need someone with a strong connection. If Izzie (Katherine Heigl) suddenly came back into his life (offscreen, of course), bailing on Jo might make sense.

If Izzie revealed she needed help that only he could provide, Alex would probably go to her. If she secretly had his baby, it would make sense why he wasn’t telling Jo where he was going. If Izzie lost her memory and could only remember Alex, again, it would be believable that he’d drop Jo like a hot potato despite the years of effort he has put into strengthening their relationship.

Africa — This is going pretty far back, but at one point, Dr. Karev was doing a lot to help kids from Africa. Maybe he got an emergency call and packed his bags. He couldn’t tell Jo because she’d try to stop him from leaving and badger him with questions, and he needed to go fast. Plus, it would explain why he can’t get in touch with her. Being in a remote location could definitely interfere with cell service, but maybe Alex will get in touch on Thursday to tell Jo that he has decided to stay in Africa permanently, delivering her an ultimatum to come overseas or get a divorce.

Will any of these theories be true? There’s only one way to find out. “Grey’s Anatomy” will reveal Alex’s exit Thursday at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.

Alex Karev leaving Grey's Anatomy
Dr. Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) is leaving "Grey's Anatomy." ABC