Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who only returned to the NFL in November 2021, is pausing his football career once again, this time to focus on a career in medicine. The 31-year-old has a medical doctorate and has never hidden his desire to work in the medical field.

Left the NFL Once to Help Out with COVID-19

The Super Bowl-winning offensive lineman put a pause on his NFL career while still with the Kansas City Chiefs. He said that he was opting out of the NFL to work at a Montreal care facility to help out during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

As a result of his efforts during the pandemic, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was named one of Sports Illustrated’s Sportspeople of the Year. He also was the co-winner of the Lou Marsh Trophy, awarded to the best athlete in Canada. 

In 2021, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was given the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award for leaving the NFL to assist medical workers during COVID-19.

Might Return in September “If There’s a Fit”

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif played for the Kansas City Chiefs for seven years and helped them win Super Bowl LIV before he paused his NFL career in 2020. When he returned, the Chiefs traded him to the New York Jets. However, he didn’t stay with the Jets for long and only played eight games before announcing he will pause his career once again. 

Duvernay-Tardif, who is listed as an unrestricted free agent at the moment, will start a residency program at a hospital in the Montreal area. He told Associated Press that he was going to prioritize medicine and will come back in September to “see if there’s a fit.” He added that after playing in the NFL for eight years, he felt he earned the right to do what was best for him.

Confident He Will Have No Problem Finding a Team

The offensive lineman is confident he would find a team but also doesn’t have a problem continuing in the medical field if he feels it’s not the right offer for him.

Duvernay-Tardif went on to say that he was really comfortable with taking the risk and that if there was a good offer on the table before the start of the new NFL season, he would take it. For now, though, he just wants to be more on his terms. 

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has a master’s degree in surgery and a doctorate in medicine. He was a sixth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Canadian native has played 68 games, 64 of which he started.


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