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.”
“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.