The Newest New York Jets’ Member Saved Lives During the Pandemic
On paper, the New York Jets made a low-risk, low-reward trade at today's trade deadline.
What comes in? An aging offensive lineman, who last played a snap in an NFL game in 2019. A guard that had a great deal of success early in his career, but after sitting out 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns, and injuring his hand in preseason camp, may not have a lot left. What goes out, meanwhile, is a tight end who has nine total receptions over the last two seasons. Low risk going out, low reward coming in.
What you may not know about the newest member of the New York Jets, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, is that he is a life-saver.
Duvernay-Tardif Enjoyed a Great Career in Kansas City
A 2014 sixth-round pick out of McGill University in Canada, Duvernay-Tardif played in all 16 games for the Chiefs the following season (in 2015), starting 13 of them. He followed that performance up by starting in all 44 games in which he played between 2016 and 2019. Though injuries have been a factor in his career, Duvernay-Tardif was a steadying force when in the lineup, and was part of the Chiefs' Super Bowl winning squad in 2019.
Duvernay-Tardif hasn't played a snap of football since then.
Duvernay-Tardif Made History in 2020
With COVID-19 rates still high, the NFL season got underway in 2020. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, however, did not. He chose to sit out the 2020 NFL season, becoming the first player in the league to do so.
He did not, however, simply sit at home and watch football from his couch. He found a new calling last season, one that would save the lives of many, and change the lives of many more.
Duvernay-Tardif Became an Orderly to Help Fight the Pandemic in Montreal
No, really, he actually did.
In a stirring 20-minute piece from the NFL Network, Duvernay-Tardif explains what happened next. He became a doctor, the first active NFL player to do so, and began to fight COVID-19 from the front lines.
For what he accomplished, Duvernay-Tardif was given the Lou Marsh Trophy, awarded to the best athlete(s) in a given year in Canada. He was also honored at the 2021 ESPY Awards, and was given the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award for his decision and subsequent action.
Again, on paper, this trade may not move the needle. That said, with a young core of impressionable players everywhere on the Jets roster, a person like Laurent Duvernay-Tardif could benefit this team much more than anyone may expect.