Spoilers for the March 25 episode. To quote Aaron Burr in the musical Hamilton: "OK, so we're doing this." Turns out Negan's blood-dipped weapons did infect and kill a bunch of Team Grimes soldiers, creating a mini-outbreak in the middle of the night. So, does that mean Rick is infected on The Walking Dead too? Michonne mentions him having a cut in Sunday's episode, meaning that the looming theories about Rick's death might soon become reality.
The timeline hops around in Sunday's episode, as it is wont to do these days, but it appears that Rick returns from his confrontation with Negan having sustained a cut that Michonne wants to inspect — but he broods off in another direction. Not wise, as his son and Michonne's best friend just died from a walker bite. Still, whether that's a clue or another classic Walking Dead red herring, the audience is meant to take notice of this cut. Siddiq wants to look at it as well, but Rick is not in the mood.
Remember, in the midseason finale, that potential flash forward that showed Rick leaning against a tree, stained glass in the distance, bleeding and pale as though he had lost a lot of blood? That got fans worried that Rick might be fated for death in the first place. Could these be the events that lead to that scene? For one thing, it doesn't look like how things go down in the Hilltop hospital wing where the other victims of Negan's plan spring to undead life. Their infected wounds lead to a fever. The cut in that stained glass scene looked fresh, and to be the primary source of his pain.
That said, he did also like, run around with Lucille a lot in the previous episode. Lucille was practically marinated in a vat of infected blood prior to that battle. It's highly probable that Rick got a tainted love tap during that confrontation, especially since we know he sustained some kind of injury.
Is "continuity error" one of the steps of grief, now? How is it possible that the Saviors plan is working after all these years of the show? Surely someone has gotten walker blood in an open wound before. If not, the "cover yourself in guts" gag has been effectively camouflaging survivors on The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead without any "oops, just became my disguise" incident. Has it not also been established that everyone is infected in this apocalypse? They're all carriers. Anyone who dies, unless their cortexes are somehow ruptured, turn. While that sucks for someone who sustains a heart attack or dies of natural causes, it also means that walkers and human blood should theoretically be the same.
So this new development seems a little convenient, and doesn't really make sense based on the previous 100+ episodes of The Walking Dead, but it's real, it's happening, and it might place the show's original hero in grave danger. Khal Drogo essentially died from a scratch on Game Of Thrones, so anything is possible for even the most badass of characters. Maybe Rick Grimes would rather die than end up with that awful Old Man beard that Carl dreamed up.
But don't start mourning the sheriff just yet. There is still hope, even on The Walking Dead. Father Gabriel seems to have somewhat recovered from his fever. Maybe the fact that everyone is infected means that this fever can be cured. That could be Gabriel's well sought after "purpose," and maybe even Siddiq's purpose as well. There may never be a cure on The Walking Dead, but finding a way to survive small infections could be a major step towards the future that Carl and so many other characters have started imagining this season. Saving Rick could be the beginning, rather than the end.