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Canada’s Laurent Duvernay-Tardif putting NFL career on hold to do residency

Canada’s Laurent Duvernay-Tardif putting NFL career on hold to do residency

Canada’s Laurent Duvernay-Tardif putting NFL career on hold to do residency

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

Duvernay-Tardif told The Canadian Press on Wednesday he has received four contract offers from NFL clubs — he wouldn’t divulge the teams — but is putting football on the back burner after being accepted into a residency program at a Montreal-area hospital, starting next month.

The veteran offensive lineman has been an unrestricted free agent since March.

The move isn’t surprising. After finishing last season with the New York Jets, the six-foot-five, 321-pound Duvernay-Tardif told Canadian reporters he had medical-school considerations to address this winter in addition to his NFL future.

He received his doctorate in medicine and a master’s degree in surgery from McGill University in 2018, and Duvernay-Tardif said medical graduates usually had four years to start their residency.

Duvernay-Tardif said he’s not retiring from football, but taking care of medical requirements needed to become a physician. He plans to reassess both his football interest as well as that of perspective clubs in September.

It’s not the first time Duvernay-Tardif has decided to leave pro football. Shortly after helping the Kansas City Chiefs secure a Super Bowl victory, the native of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que., became the first NFL player to opt out of the 2020 season to battle the COVID-19 pandemic working at a long-term care facility in Montreal.

Duvernay-Tardif was widely recognized for his decision to put his football career on hold. He was a co-recipient of the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s top athlete and named ESPN’s Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian of the Year, as well as one of Sports Illustrated’s 2020 Sportspersons of the year.

He also served on the NFL Players’ Association’s COVID-19 task force.

Duvernay-Tardif returned to Kansas City last season expecting to battle for his spot. But he suffered a broken hand during training camp that sidelined him for a month.

When Duvernay-Tardif became healthy, he was inactive as rookie Trey Smith, a 2021 sixth-round draft pick, had become the Chiefs’ starting right guard. In November, Duvernay-Tardif waived his no-trade clause, allowing Kansas City to deal him to the Jets.

The 31-year-old started seven of his eight games at right guard for the Jets (4-13), who finished last in the AFC East.

Duvernay-Tardif was already in medical school when Kansas City took him in the sixth round of the ’14 NFL draft out of McGill. He initially played football during the NFL season, then spent his off-season continuing his medical studies.

Duvernay-Tardif started 57-of-60 career games with Kansas City. He made his first NFL start in 2015 and helped the Chiefs earn a 31-20 Super Bowl win over the San Francisco 49ers on Feb. 2, 2020.

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