NFL offensive guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is headed back to the doctor's office.
Duvernay-Tardif, 31, told The Canadian Press on Wednesday he will put his football career on hold after he accepted a residency at a hospital in Montreal, Quebec, starting in July. He added that he isn't retiring from the NFL despite receiving four contract offers from different teams this offseason and that he will reevaluate his football career in September.
"I'm going to prioritize medicine ... and we'll see in September if there's a fit," Duvernay-Tardif said. "After eight years in the NFL, and I don't want to sound pretentious by saying this, but I think I've earned the right to do what's best for me and not just for football and kind of bet on myself a little bit.
"I'm really comfortable with the risk and I'm pretty confident there's going to be an offer on the table in September if I want it. And if I want it I'll take it. If medicine is going well and I feel like I've got to be out there in front of 80,000 people to play the sport I love, well, I'll go but I think I want it to be more on my terms."
Duvernay-Tardif last played for the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs during the 2021 season. He sat out the 2020 season to work on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak in Canada. Duvernay-Tardif graduated with a medical degree from McGill University in 2018 and was a sixth-round pick by the Chiefs in 2014. Because of the nature of his degree, Duvernay-Tardif had four years to start his residency if he wanted to keep his doctorate in medicine and a master's degree in surgery.
"I have another passion that I've worked hard the past 14 years to maintain with the requirement of football," Duvernay-Tardif added, "and I can't jeopardize that after all I've done."