Dr. Duvernay-Tardif opts out of 2020 NFL season

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Kansas City Chiefs starting right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has elected not to play the 2020 NFL season. He is the first player to make this decision since the NFL and the NFLPA worked out an agreement to cover players.

Duvernay-Tardif is not opting out over health concerns. No, it’s more important than that. He is actually a doctor, who is fighting the coronavirus pandemic in Canada.

Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif raises the Vince Lombardi Trophy during the celebration after his team defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20, in Super Bowl LIV
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif raises the Vince Lombardi Trophy during the celebration after his team defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20, in Super Bowl LIV (Getty Images)

The Canadian native will forfeit his entire 2020 salary. However, the league will cover him with a $150,000 salary due to their opt-out clause.

He is the only active player in the NFL, who has a doctorate in medicine. And the lone doctor in the league in 2019.

“Given the worldwide sanitary crisis we are currently experiencing, the NFL and the NFLPA have agreed to significant health and safety protocols to protect the players,” Duvernay-Tardif said. “There is no doubt in my mind the Chiefs’ medical staff have put together a strong plan to minimize the health risks associated with COVID-19, but some risks remain. This is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in my life, but I must follow my convictions and do what I believe is right for me personally. That is why I have decided to take the Opt-Out Options negotiated by the league and NFLPA and officially opt-out of the 2020 NFL season.

“Being at the front line during this off-season has given me a different perspective on this pandemic and the stress it puts on individuals and our healthcare system. I cannot allow myself to potentially transmit the virus in our communities simply to play the sport that I love. If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients. I want to thank everyone in the Kansas City Chiefs organization for their support and understanding.”

The 29-year-old St. Hilaire, Canada native was a sixth-round draft pick by the Chiefs in the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent the last six seasons with the team.

In 2019, Duvernay-Tardif appeared in 14 games, including 14 starts, during the regular season. He also played in all three games of the Chiefs playoff run, including the Super Bowl when the team defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

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