Laurent Duvernay-Tardif says watching Chiefs play in 2020 kept him grounded

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is back with the Chiefs, opting out of the 2020 season to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, anything he experiences on the football field is sure to be less of a challenge than what he saw as a doctor in his native Montreal.

“It has been a pretty challenging year I think for all of us,” Duvernay-Tardif said, via Charles Goldman of USA Today. “For me, personally, I went back and helped in a long-term care facility in different capacities. Sometimes I was a nurse. Sometimes I was an orderly, a resident. I was basically helping where help was needed, and it was tough. We lost a lot of patients, and we know that long-term care facilities were pretty badly affected.”

Watching the Chiefs play helped him through it and provided a brief diversion. The offensive lineman even had patients and co-workers rooting for the Chiefs.

“I think at the end of the day, looking back at this year, being able to watch the Chiefs on Sunday was kind of the thing keeping me grounded,” Duvernay-Tardif said. “It was fun. It was fun to watch my teammates throughout the season, even though I wasn’t there. I don’t regret my decision. I think I was at the right place at the right moment, and I was able to put my medical training to use. But for sure, watching the games on Sunday, I couldn’t be prouder of the guys. Also on Monday’s, going to work in the long-term care facility, going from patients room to patients room and watching the replays from the game with your scrubs, your visor and your gown, that was pretty cool. The patients were also behind the Chiefs, it was a Chiefs Kingdom in the south shore of Montreal.”

Duvernay-Tardif’s other challenge was staying in shape, with gyms in Canada closed. He created an at-home training program. Duvernay-Tardif said he is in the best shape of his life, but noted that there is a difference in being in “football shape.”

Duvernay-Tardif has a doctorate in medicine and a master’s in surgery from the McGill University Faculty of Medicine, where he graduated in May 2018. Duvernay-Tardif, 30, has played five NFL seasons.