Player With Medical Degree Opted Out To Combat COVID-19 Updates NFL Status

Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, M.D. announced his decision to return to football for the 2021 NFL season.

Duvernay-Tardif opted out of the 2020 NFL season to return to his native Canada and help combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The veteran offensive lineman said he's grateful for the opportunities he's had within the medical field over the past year in a post shared on his Instagram account on Monday (May 11.)

"A year ago, I was trading my football helmet and pads for a hospital gown and a pair of gloves. This experience changed me in a way that I never thought would be possible," Duvernay-Tardif said. "I met extraordinary people that made so many sacrifices and took care of our vulnerable ones with so much passion and dedication. Those nurses, orderlies and doctors made me realize the difference between treating and caring for patients.
"It's now time for me to transition back into football but there is no doubt that those 10 months working part-time in a long term care facility will help me become a better physician. Thank you all for your sacrifices and your hard work."

Duvernay-Tardif has a Doctorate in medicine and a Masters Degree in surgery from the McGill University Faculty of Medicine, and worked in a long-term care facility in Montreal, Quebec, Canada during the past year.

The six-year veteran last appeared in an NFL game during the Chiefs' 31-20 victory against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV.

The Chiefs are coming off a 31-9 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV which saw quarterback Patrick Mahomes pressured 29 times on 56 dropbacks, equivalent to 52%, the most in Super Bowl history, in February, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Along with bringing back Duvernay-Tardif, the Chiefs also acquired former Browns offensive lineman Joe Thuney, who signed a five-year, $80 million contract in March, and traded for offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. last month, to address their concerns on the offensive line.

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