Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is hoping to accomplish a unique feat ahead of the 2018 NFL season.
The Canadian is currently working as a reporter at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and says he is planning to become the first football player to step onto an NFL field as a physician next season.
Duvernay-Tardif is working to complete his medical degree through McGill University, where he has been enrolled for seven years now, and hopes the NFL will allow him a small rule change in order to show off his title.
“I want to put Duvernay-Tardif M.D. on my jersey,” the Kansas City Star. “I’ve already started a conversation with the league office, and they say that anything is possible.”
“I need to make sure I pass it because it's the last year I'm allowed to pass that exam,” he said. “After that, I'd have to start over the whole thing.”
Players have been permitted to add suffixes such as “II,” “III,” Jr.,” and “Sr.,” since 2012, when Robert Griffin III persuaded the league to allow the Roman numerals “III” after Griffin.
Since then, a flurry of players have taken advantage of the rule, including Steve Smith Sr., Golden Tate III, Odell Beckham Jr., and Dante Fowler Jr.
So, the addition of “M.D.” shouldn't be too difficult to persuade the league on, right?
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Duvernay-Tardif is avid winter sports fan and before he takes his medical exam in May, decided he wanted to have a crack at some journalism. He pitched the idea of working as a reporter to Radio-Canada, combining his medical knowledge and athletic experience to tell stories about what athletes endure at the Olympics.
“It was just a tremendous opportunity,” he said.
“I’ve always wanted to go to the Olympics…I think it’s nice that with my background in medical school and my background as an athlete, I can communicate or connect better with some of the athletes,”
Despite delving into journalism, the Chiefs lineman is fully focused on achieving success in Kansas City on the field and carries lofty personal and team goals into the 2018 season.
“If I make it to the Pro Bowl in the same year that I graduate from medicine… and win the Super Bowl, then I don't know what I'm going to do,” Duvernay-Tardif said. “All my goals will be accomplished.”
Having a qualified physician on the field could help the Chiefs medical team in urgent situations, but it may also throw in some controversial moments should Duvernay-Tardif intervene in medical situations during a game.
It would be an unprecedented occurrence and one that will certainly provide a series of questions for the league.