Laurent Duvernay-Tardif spent part of Thursday morning hanging out at his parents’ bakery on de Castelnau Street in Villeray.
The 26-year-old offensive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs has returned home a little sooner than expected because on Saturday, his NFL season ended earlier than he wanted.
His team lost to the Tennessee Titans in their first playoff game.
“It was just really hard to digest and hard to turn the page,” Duvernay-Tardif tells Global News. “I mean, I’m still thinking about it and wish I would be practicing right now and getting ready to play the Patriots.”
But the early return home is a bit of a blessing.
The star athlete is also a medical student at McGill University. He’s studying to be an emergency room physician, and he has a final exam in May.
“So I got four months ahead of me to really digest the whole textbooks and all that stuff and get ready to pass the exams to get my MD. “Then I’ll be a doctor so I can put in the back of my jersey as well,” he jokes.
It won’t be easy. He’s been going to med school for over eight years, studying part-time in order to play in the NFL. It means he has to brush up on everything he’s learned throughout the program.
“For sure, it’s gonna be a full-time job!”
But Duvernay-Tardif is no stranger to hard work. His father Francois says he always knew his son would excel because he pushed himself.
Balancing the two passions is tough when he switches from one to the other.
“That’s the hardest part of my career, to transition from football, last game of the season, to first shift in the hospital at 6 a.m. in the morning as a medical student, at the bottom of the food chain in the medical field,” he laughs.
Duvernay-Tardif says it keeps him grounded because when he’s in the hospital, he’s no longer the focus — the patients are.