OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Out 4-6 Weeks With Broken Bone in Hand: Report

Mitchell Schwartz Chiefs

Getty Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Mitchell Schwartz of the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Kansas City Chiefs‘ position battle at right guard has just thinned out a bit. Veteran offensive lineman Laurent-Duvernay-Tardif is out 4-6 weeks due to a broken bone in his hand, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

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Good News

As Rapoport mentioned, Duvernay-Tardif’s recovery timeline looks to be on the shorter side of the 4-6 weeks. That’s the best-case scenario for the sixth-year pro, who could be ready for the team’s Sept. 12 season opener against the Cleveland Browns.

Bad News

The injury comes at a very poor time for Duvernay-Tardif, as he was in the midst of a battle over the starting right guard spot. Rookie sixth-round pick Trey Smith was the only other player competing for the job, and actually had a bit of a lead on Duvernay-Tardif for the starting gig two weeks into camp.

So, the competition hadn’t ended yet, but Smith presumably is the Week 1 starting right guard for Kansas City now.

On the Frontlines of the Pandemic

Duvernay-Tardif was the first NFL player to opt-out of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, he didn’t opt-out to protect himself. Rather, he wanted to help others.

As a medical school graduate from McGill University in Canada, Duvernay-Tardif had been assisting as an orderly in a long-term care facility in the Montreal area throughout the pandemic.

“Being at the frontline during this offseason has given me a different perspective on this pandemic and the stress it puts on individuals and our healthcare system,” he wrote, via a social media post. “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.”

Duvernay-Tardif expressed his thoughts surrounding the decision to opt-out furthermore in a Sports Illustrated Daily Cover story which was published in September of 2020.

I put out a statement as the news of who opted out spread across the NFL. I want to be clear here. My goal was never to oppose the Chiefs, the league or my teammates. I’m not trying to convince anyone else that they should sit out this season. I realize my circumstances could not be more unique. I hope that the public realizes that those very circumstances must inform my decision not to play in 2020, that I can’t ignore my life in medicine.

It’s weird to say this, but I miss camp. I’ve been following on Instagram, and every time I see tight end Travis Kelce laughing and cracking jokes, I want to hop on a plane and fly to Kansas City. I miss the guys. I miss the contact. But I also know I made, for me, the right decision.

Although his teammates and coaches were disappointed to lose a respected figure on the team, they supported Duvernay-Tardif’s decision.

“I understand the dedication it takes to be a doctor,” Reid said, per ESPN. “It’s a tremendous dedication to his profession and what his future is going to be. We understand that when football is over, this is going to be one of the greatest doctors ever.”

Duvernay-Tardif was drafted in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Chiefs. He has been the team’s starting right guard for the past five seasons and has played in a total of 60 games during that timespan.

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