Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was the talk of last night's The Bachelorette, even though he never appeared on camera.
The athlete was blurred out of family photos, even.
The relationship between Jordan Rodgers, the favorite all season, and his NFL star brother Aaron has become the topic of much debate.
Relationship or lack thereof, we should say.
The further Jordan advances in the season-long quest for JoJo's affection, the more questions arise about his character - and his brother.
While Robby Hayes' romance with Hope Higginbotham is giving the Rodgers' a late run for their dysfunctional money, it's been all about them.
Last week, in advance of JoJo Fletcher coming home to meet his family, Jordan revealed that he has little or no contact with Aaron. At all.
His vague explanations have been that it's "complicated" or that this is how Aaron has chosen to live his life ... whatever that means.
This week was somehow more awkward.
Jordan took JoJo to his hometown of Chico, Calif., introducing her to his parents and older brother, Luke; Aaron was noticeably absent.
How noticeable was Aaron's absence, you ask?
At one point, the cameras showed an old family photo with his face blurred out. Then there was a conspicuously empty chair at dinner.
So what the heck happened between them?
Jordan has implied, while skirting the issue as much as he can, that their falling out had something to do with Aaron’s immense fame.
He has somewhat hinted at his own insecurity at being less good at football, but hasn't spoken directly about they they don't talk, period.
Even JoJo can't help but wonder at this point:
“You could tell Jordan just didn’t really want to talk about it and that it hurts him ... For the last year or two, his brother hasn’t been a part of his life."
“It makes me wonder just, you know, where did things go wrong?" Fletcher pondered, asking her suitor, "like, how does that happen?"
"Is that something that we don’t talk about?”
It's a good question. Which he didn't answer.
“It doesn’t need to be a topic,” he assured her, prior to sitting down with the family. “I’ll just tell [my family] we talked about it, and … yeah.”
Jordan’s father, Ed, and Jordan’s eldest brother, Luke, danced around the issue as well, yet made what felt like a public plea to Aaron.
Luke told Fletcher at one point Monday:
“It pains both of us, like, not to have that relationship. We miss our brother. We just are trusting that that God brings things full circle."
"It’s a wish that everything would just get back to, you know, us being a family,” Luke said, in a sentiment that Jordan echoed as well.
“It would have been nice to share JoJo with not only my parents and my brother Luke but Aaron as well,” he said. “I miss my brother."
"Especially in moments like this."
“There’s two empty seats, and I know that they all probably wish Aaron was sitting in one of them,” JoJo lamented of the dinner table.
“It’s hard, because, like, that’s Jordan’s brother. That’s Luke’s brother. That’s Ed and Darla’s son. I have no idea, nor could I even imagine."
Aaron Rodgers and Olivia Munn, his actress girlfriend, have said nary a word about this whole situation throughout the course of the season.
Speculation, naturally, is off the charts.
It has been widely reported that Jordan's breakup with Brittany Farrar - a friend of the couple - could have played a role in the estrangement.
How much of a role? We can't say.
In any case, look for things to get very interesting if - as The Bachelorette spoilers strongly imply - Jordan wins the final rose this season.
You can only duck these questions for so long, especially with tabloid scrutiny increasing by the week ... for both Jordan and now Aaron.