Canadian offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is back with the New York Jets taking time away from his football career to focus on medicine, according to a report from NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.
The six-foot-six, 320-pound blocker took a brief hiatus from the NFL to start this season in order to complete a portion of his residency in Quebec, remaining on track for his post-football career. The NFL’s first active player to become a medical doctor worked out for the Jets on Monday, inking a contract three days later.
Drafted in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of McGill, Duvernay-Tardif has played 68 games over six seasons in the NFL, helping the Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl LIV following the 2019 campaign. He was traded to New York mid-way through the 2021 season, starting eight games down the stretch.
The medical doctor opted out of the 2020 NFL season back in July 2020 to dedicate his time to his patients. His team, the Kansas City Chiefs, reached the Super Bowl again in his absence, falling to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In addition to working as an orderly in a long-term care facility in Quebec, Duvernay-Tardif served on the NFLPA’s COVID-19 task force in order to ensure a safe return to play for his fellow players and launched the Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Foundation with his longtime girlfriend, Florence, to ensure both physical activity and creativity are a part of a child’s development and educational success.
The native of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que. has been recognized several times this year for his tremendous work and personal sacrifice. He was a co-recipient of the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s top athlete, he was named ESPN’s Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian of the Year, he was named one of Sports Illustrated’s 2020 Sportspersons of the Year, and his lab coat was on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.