Several weeks after announcing his decision to opt out of the 2020 season, Kansas City Chiefs’ Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is starting online classes at Harvard University.
The 29-year-old offensive lineman first revealed his plans in a Sports Illustrated article published Wednesday, saying that he plans to study nutrition, biostatistics and epidemiology at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Duvernay-Tardif, who has been working to fulfill his requirements to become a doctor in the offseason while working at a clinic in his native Canada, said in a statement posted to social media in July that his decision to opt out came down to avoiding the risk of transmitting the virus just “to play the sport that I love.”
“The truth is, if I hadn’t worked in that long-term care facility, I would probably be in Kansas City right now, practicing and grinding though training camp,” Duvernay-Tardif told Sports Illustrated.
“As much as I benefited from my stint in the facility, the time I worked there did not count toward whatever medical discipline I ultimately will practice. I’m targeting classes in health and social behavior at a population level, nutrition from a global population standpoint, biostatistics and epidemiology. And I still plan to work at the long-term care facility.”
The Chiefs selected Duvernay-Tardif in the sixth round of the 2014 draft out of McGill University. He started 27 of his next 30 games, which earned him a four-year, $42.36 million deal in February 2017.
He played every offensive snap in the playoffs last season, helping the Chiefs rally to beat the San Francisco 49ers for the title.