Chiefs right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif won’t be at the team’s OTA practice on Tuesday, but he’s got a pretty good excuse. He’s in Montreal, where he is graduating from McGill University’s medical school.
That makes him the first active NFL player to hold a medical a degree, an accomplishment he hopes the league will let him tout on the back of his jersey.
“I want to put Duvernay-Tardif M.D. on my jersey,” he told the Kansas City Star in February. “I’ve already started a conversation with the league office and they say that anything is possible.”
Duvernay-Tardif had planned to become a doctor long before he planned to be professional football player. He didn’t even join the football team when he first enrolled at McGill—keeping up with classes in English was enough of a challenge for the native French speaker—but his love of the game soon brought him back to the field and he became the best college player in Canada.
Duvernay-Tardif’s dominance in Canada caught the eye of many NFL scouts, though his sudden emergence as an NFL prospect put a kink in his academic plans. He was only a few credits short of his degree when Chiefs took him in the sixth round of the 2014 draft so Duvernay-Tardif met with the school’s dean to devise a plan that would let him finish his schooling during the offseason. After taking a licensing exam this spring, he can officially call himself a doctor.