Kansas City Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Well, not quite. Duvernay-Tardif, a veteran guard who has played for the Kansas City Chiefs since 2014, isn’t going to have a bronze bust anytime soon.
Despite opting out of the 2020 season, however, Duvernay-Tardif’s gear is going to The Hall — his medical equipment, we mean, not his cleats and pads.
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is a veteran offensive lineman
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Born in St. Hilaire, Canada, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif played at McGill University in Montreal.
The Kansas City Chiefs drafted Tardif in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL draft and he has been with the team since then. In the process, Duvernay-Tardif became the 10th player drafted from a Canadain university.
Duvernay-Tardif joined the starting lineup at right guard in 2015 and started 57 games over the next five seasons. He signed a five-year, $42.36 million contract extension with the Chiefs in February 2017 and received over $20 million in guaranteed money.
Duvernay-Tardif, who won a Super Bowl with the Chiefs in February, is also known for his medical background. The veteran guard graduated from McGill’s medical school in May 2018.
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif opted out of the 2020 season
Months after blocking in Super Bowl 54, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif faced a much greater task than the San Francisco 49ers.
Duvernay-Tardif put football on hold to become a front-line worker amid the coronavirus pandemic. When things got bad in his native Canada, Duvernay-Tardif began working at a long-term care facility.
Duvernay-Tardif chose to opt-out of the 2020 NFL season and instead focus on his orderly duties. When Duvernay-Tardif opted out in July, he became the first player to opt-out for COVID-19 reasons.
In an interview with Greg Bishop of Sports Illustrated, Duvernay-Tardif called his opt-out “one of the most difficult decisions of my life.”
“For my first six years in the NFL, I had always balanced my love for medicine and my love for football. But now, with COVID-19 still spreading across the world, my twin passions stood in contrast. On one hand, I had a Super Bowl title to defend; on the other, a global pandemic to deal with.”
Duvernay-Tardif did not opt back in and rejoin the Chiefs. Sixty-six players officially opted out of this season.
Duvernay-Tardif’s 2020 gear is going to the Hall of Fame
Regardless of how the Kansas City Chiefs’ 2020 season ends, at least one of their players will have gear sent to the Hall of Fame.
Rather than take Laurent Duvernay-Tardif’s helmet or towel, The Hall took the offensive lineman’s medical gear.
Duvernay-Tardif gave his mask, face shield, scrubs, and lab coat to the museum.
People across the world, understandably, will want to forget the coronavirus pandemic and the horrors it brought. But for the annals of time, football fans who travel to Canton, Ohio, will be reminded of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, a hero in every sense of the word.