Laurent Duvernay-Tardif missing football as he serves a higher purpose

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Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif made a big sacrifice this season, taking the year off to put his medical expertise to use during the COVID-19 pandemic. He did the right thing, and doing the right thing isn’t easy.

Duvernay-Tardif, who is a medical doctor in addition to being an NFL player, told John Kryk of Postmedia that he misses football now more than ever, and he’d love to be there with his team in the playoffs on Sunday.

“I feel like after a few years in the NFL I’m a guy who loves to perform when it gets cold, and the stakes are high,” he said. “The last six games of the season always have gone by really fast for me. I love playing at that time of year. . . . I miss it. I miss the games. I miss playing in front of, like, 80,000 people — but nobody is playing in front of 80,000 people this year. That actually helped me cope with it a little better. Playoffs are amazing. I’ve been waking up every day the past few weeks going, ‘OK it’s Tuesday. Are they going to practice? Will Thursday be a full-padded practice? How will they manage?’ I’m just asking myself all these questions.”

The hardest time, Duvernay-Tardif said, was when guards Kelechi Osemele and Mitchell Schwartz got hurt, and Duvernay-Tardif wanted to be out there blocking for Patrick Mahomes.

“I was like, ‘I would pay a lot of money for a flight to Kansas City, get tested, and parachute onto the field — and contribute.’ But this opt-out is irrevocable,” Duvernay-Tardif said. “There have been some tough moments for sure.”

Duvernay-Tardif says that in addition to treating nursing home patients, he’s staying in good shape and eager to get back on the field, which he plans to be as soon as the Chiefs report for offseason work.

5 responses to “Laurent Duvernay-Tardif missing football as he serves a higher purpose

  1. He made a noble sacrifice. Hopefully he’s back on the field soon,and we all get back to doing what we love,without this damn virus.

  2. There’s a good role model. It’s a refreshing change from all those me-first guys in the NFL.

  3. His choosing. Not sure what good came of it, the league has shown it’s been just fine by playing. Of course. Just if us knew it would be. KC found out his backup is as good as he is, and the backup makes far less money. Good luck next year LDT!

  4. Let’s not shed any tears for LDT. He was the lowest ranked Chiefs starting offensive lineman last year per PFF, was forced to take a $6 million + pay-cut and had the final 2 years of his contract ripped up. He knew his football career was coming to an end so he used the pandemic to advance his medical career. As someone who lives in Montreal (we have been hit hardest by the pandemic in Canada), he is now regarded as a hero even though his contributions to help contain the damage of the pandemic have been limited. Since September, he has only been working part time as an orderly in a long term care home yet still has enough time to take online public health classes from Harvard (the majority of which are unrelated to pandemic management) and to train for the 2021 NFL season. Not to mention his restructured contract guarantees him $2.25 million next season. So he made a small sacrifice to skip the season to position himself for his future profession and to help his chances of getting into his preferred residency program, where he will become an actual doctor.

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