Kansas City head coach Andy Reid has supported Laurent Duvernay-Tardif’s medical passion ever since the Canadian offensive lineman was selected by the Chiefs in the 2014 NFL daft.

The 29-year-old McGill University graduate elected to opt out of the 2020 season in his contract to continue fighting COVID-19 on the front lines. He works as an orderly in a long term care home in Quebec. Duvernay-Tardif called Reid to inform the bench boss of his decision.

“I had a great talk and visit with him. His players support him, the veteran players support him, and the coaches support him. We understand when football’s over this is gonna be one of the greatest doctors ever,” Reid said.

“I know Larry, I’ve been with him since he came into the National Football League. What a tribute to him and to the profession. I know the love and dedication that they have to protecting and healing.”

Duvernay-Tardif is very appreciative of Reid understanding the passion he has for both football and medicine. During off-seasons while in the NFL, Reid has allowed the six-foot-five, 321-pound blocker to be flexible with hi schedule and work towards pursuing doctor aspirations.

“I’m a huge Larry Duvernay-Tardif fan and I also was raised by a doctor [mom Elizabeth]. I understand the dedication that it takes to be a doctor. We’re all blessed to have doctors in our lives. They’re givers, they’re not takers,” Reid said.

“They’re givers and they’re healers. They want the best for you, Larry has that quality, and you’re seeing it to the utmost here. I just think it’s tremendous dedication to his profession, what his future’s gonna be, and mainly to the people that he gets to help.”

The Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec native had become a mainstay at right guard for the Chiefs, starting 57 games through the last six NFL seasons. He played started in every game during Kansas City’s run to the franchise’s first Super Bowl title in 50 years.

“My heart goes out to him. Like Larry they’re not out looking for a pat on the back, they’re not looking for attention. Larry is buried in, he’s not looking to do interviews,” Reid said.

“He’s trying to get the work done that he needs to heal people. What a dedication that is and a love that is. I’m so happy and proud of him.”

While Duvernay-Tardif works to heal citizens and saves lives, Reid and the Chiefs will try to defend their Super Bowl championship. The Canadian hero has traded in his helmet and shoulder pads for scrubs and face mask.

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Justin Dunk is a CFL insider, sports reporter and news anchor.