Laurent Duvernay-Tardif puts his NFL career on hold to begin medical residency; says he’s not retiring

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MONTREAL — Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is once again putting his NFL career on hold.

The 31-year-old Canadian offensive lineman told The Canadian Press on Wednesday that he will begin a residency program at a Montreal-area hospital next month.

Duvernay-Tardif has been an unrestricted NFL free agent since March after finishing last season with the New York Jets. He said he was not retiring from football, just taking care of the medical requirements needed to become a doctor. The guard plans to reevaluate both his interest in football as well as that of NFL clubs in September.

“I will give priority to medicine… and we will see in September if there is a crisis,” Duvernay-Tardif said in a telephone interview. “After eight years in the NFL, and I don’t mean to sound pretentious in saying this, but I think I’ve earned the right to do what’s best for me and not just football and bet a little on myself a bit.

“I’m really comfortable with the risk, and I’m pretty confident that there will be an offer on the table in September if I want it. And if I want it, I’ll take it. If the medicine is okay and that I feel like I have to be out there in front of 80,000 people to play the sport that I love, well, I’ll go, but I think I want it to be more on my terms.”

Shortly after helping the Kansas City Chiefs win the Super Bowl in February 2020, Duvernay-Tardif became the first NFL player to retire the following season, leaving the team to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. 19 while working in a Montreal long-term care facility. ease.

Duvernay-Tardif, 6-foot-5, 321 pounds, returned to Kansas City last season hoping to fight for his starting spot but was sidelined for a month after breaking a hand at boot camp. In November, he waived his no-trade clause, allowing Kansas City to sell him to the Jets. He started seven of his eight games at right guard for the Jets.

Duvernay-Tardif received his medical degree and master’s degree in surgery from McGill University in 2018.

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