Since he was a 6th round draft pick in 2010, the odds have been stacked against Chiefs center Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. The fact that he has stayed in the pros for five years and still hasn’t won a starting job speaks to his talent and hard work. With all the competition in front of him, it’s possible he sails into free agency after this season and walks away with two Super Bowl rings. If the Chiefs are lucky, he’ll opt for the latter.
The Kansas City Chiefs are without a doubt a team that dominates the national headlines. Their star quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, is one of the most exciting players in the game today, and their future star running back, Kareem Hunt, is a monster in the backfield. But the Chiefs, as we all know, are much more than a high profile, high profile offense. Finishing a close second in the AFC West last year, Kansas City has their eyes set on the playoffs and a deep postseason run.
Everyone knows Matt Cassel is the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs. But, the team is always looking for a backup. That’s why they reportedly signed Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, a new addition to the roster. Now, Duvernay-Tardif is taking advantage of his opportunity to get on the field.Many doctors have been involved in professional sports for many years. There’s Dr. J, Doc Gooden, and even Darrell Griffith, aka Dr. Dunkenstein. For Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Dr. Laurent DuVernay-Tardif, the nickname is more than just a nickname. He’s a real doctor.
DuVernay-Tardif left the NFL for a year during the COVID-19 pandemic to help care for the sick in his hometown of Montreal, Canada. The right wing defender is now back in the US, training with the Chiefs and trying to reclaim his starting spot as point guard.
Laurent DuVernay-Tardif | Photo Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
The DuVernay-Tardif story has to be one of the most unique in NFL history. He was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, the French-speaking province of Canada. As a child, his family took two year-long sailing trips from Quebec to the Caribbean, according to Sports Illustrated, and he homeschooled the future doctor.
At the age of 14, the future boss of 0 started playing football. When he got to college, he took a temporary break from sports to focus on his medical studies, but soon joined the McGill University team. That’s when I realised I needed football in my life to find a balance, he told SI. If I stop doing one or the other, I’m done.
After DuVernay-Tardif dominated McGill, the Chiefs placed him in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He became the tenth player ever selected to the NFL by a Canadian university, but he still had a year of medical school ahead of him. To get his medical degree, he finished his senior year of high school during the first four seasons of his NFL career.
In 2018, the guard officially graduated from medical school and became Dr. Laurent DuVernay-Tardif. Two years later, a global pandemic broke out.
Laurent DuVernay-Tardif is something special.
– Win the Super Bowl in 2020.
– Refused to participate in the 2020 season to fight a pandemic on the front lines.
– NFL UK (@NFLUK) June 19, 2021
DuVernay-Tardif was in Montreal, fresh off a Super Bowl victory, when the pandemic broke out with renewed vigour in March 2020. The licensed physician decided his medical skills would be more useful than his blocking abilities and waived the 2020 NFL season to work at a long-term care facility, ESPN reports.
In his absence, the KC linebacker positions were filled by sophomore Nick Allegretti and third-year free agent Andrew Wiley. Both players are still part of the team, as is Trey Smith, a 2021 sixth-round pick from Tennessee, and Joe Tooney, who signed a contract as a free agent with the New England Patriots in the offseason.
DuVernay-Tardif is currently second behind Smith on the right defensive side, but with training camp still a few weeks away and Week 1 even longer, he’ll have time to reclaim the position.
He told ESPN:
So far, I feel good. No contest obviously makes you a little rusty, but at the same time I’ve never done as many squats, cleans and sit-ups as I did last year, so I feel like I’m in top shape and hopefully that will show on the field this year.
If DuVernay-Tardif can return to the form that earned him a five-year contract and $42.3 million in 2017, the Chiefs will feel much better about an offensive line that may have cost them the Super Bowl in 2020.
For Chiefs fans, Super Bowl LV will long be remembered for the image of Patrick Mahomes trying to make a save behind an incomplete line that lost linebackers Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher to injuries.
Both key players are gone, and the Chiefs completely revamped their line in the 2021 offseason.
The team sent four draft picks (first, third and fourth in 2021 and fifth in 2022) to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for left back Orlando Brown Jr. and returner Mike Remmers, who have done an excellent job as Schwartz. Tuni signed a five-year, $80 million contract to leave the Pats, so he becomes the team’s left guard. The Chiefs let go of last year’s starter, Austin Reiter, and brought in another free agent, Los Angeles Rams center Austin Blythe, to center.
The right-back position has been filled by two men so far, Smith and DuVernay-Tardif, while Wylie returns as a substitute and Allegretti is fighting for the centre-back position. This could be a three-way battle if Kyle Long, who has returned from retirement, can heal his shin injury sustained during minicamp in time for the start of training camp.
The line went from being the weakest element of the team at the end of the 2020 season to one of the strongest in 2021. We’ll see in training camp if the right doctor will be part of this talented starting lineup when the season starts in the fall.
All statistics are from Pro Football Reference, contract details from Spotrac
MESSAGE: Carl Nassib of the Las Vegas Raiders will go down in history as the first openly gay player in the NFL.The Chiefs are excited to announce that they have re-signed LB Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who has returned to the team and will compete for a starting spot moving forward.. Read more about is laurent duvernay-tardif playing tonight and let us know what you think.
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