As the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs gear up to face-off in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, Feb. 2, it's easy to forget that some of these professional athletes do not just eat, sleep, and breathe football 24/7 or 365 days a year.
Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif made headlines as the first player with a medical degree to be playing in a Super Bowl. Yes, the 28-year-old is a doctor.
Kansas City Chiefs player Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is a doctor.
When he wasn't working on protecting his MVP-candidate quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Canadian was working toward a medical degree.
"You look at the stats, and how long is an average career and all that stuff, with studying medicine I didn't know what was going to happen, but everything turned out great," he explained in a recent interview with CNN.
Laurent revealed that head coach Andy Reid gave the lineman permission during the off-seasons to complete his school work and clinical rotations. "I think Coach Reid is a big part of that too. He understood what I was trying to do with my study. He gave me the chance to balance both," he added.
The athlete, who wears No. 76 on the field, finished his studies and earned a four-year doctor of medicine degree from Montreal's McGill University in 2018.
"I think I want people to see me as one of the best student-athletes in the world," he stated. "Of course you want to be the best football player. You want to be the best doctor. But to be able to combine both at the highest level … I think that's my biggest accomplishment."
Earlier this month, Laurent explained to the L.A. Times how football even helped him with his degree. “I think one of the reasons I did well as a medical student in those emergency rotations is because of what I learned in football,” he said. “It’s that ability to be rational in stressful situations. When you’re a student, you stress. You know your staff is going to quiz you on something, but you never know what’s going to walk through the door."
After finishing school, the starting Chiefs Guard tried to have M.D. added to his uniform jersey, but the NFL declined.
So, will Laurent end his football career soon to take up residency?
The player revealed that he's currently focused on football. Coach Reid echoed similar sentiments, saying, "I don't get any feeling that he's ready to become a doctor right now and go that direction." Adding: "I look for more years with him and continued growth."
Check out Laurent on Instagram!
The football player/doctor regularly shares posts on Instagram about his two professions. Most recently he posted a pic of himself getting off the plane in Miami, ahead of the Super Bowl. Laurent frequently shares photos of himself alongside his KC teammates.
Be sure to catch the Chiefs and 49ers face-off in Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2.