Duvernay-Tardif back at Jets after working on the residency

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – The Doctor is back – on the football field.

Veteran guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif signed with the Jets’ practice team on Friday, giving New York some depth in a unit that has been badly hit by injuries this season.

Duvernay-Tardif retired from football after spending the last two months of last season with the Jets so he could start work on his medical training program at a Montreal-area hospital.

“It’s phenomenal,” said Jets coach Robert Saleh of Duvernay-Tardif juggling football and medical training.

The 31-year-old offensive lineman retired from the 2020 season while working at Kansas City to work as an orderly at a Montreal long-term care facility on the frontlines of the pandemic. Midway through last season, Duvernay-Tardif decided to make a return to football and was traded from Kansas City to New York in November 2021.

Duvernay-Tardif played in eight games with the Jets, including seven starts on the right. Although he played well in his comeback, he once again put his NFL career on hold during the offseason to focus on his medical career and become a doctor. Duvernay-Tardif, an unrestricted free agent, told the Canadian press in June he would not be retiring from football and would reassess his interest in the game in the fall.

“I’m going to prioritize medicine… and we’ll see if there’s a seizure in September,” Duvernay-Tardif told CP. “After eight years in the NFL, and I don’t want to sound presumptuous when I say that, but I think I’ve earned the right to do what’s best for me and not just for football and a little bit towards myself put .”

He will now give up his residency and return to the Jets, who coached him at their facility on Wednesday before signing him. Duvernay-Tardif is a welcome addition to an offensive line that needs some healthy bodies for backup.

Tackle Mekhi Becton and guard/tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker are both out for the season with injuries. Tackles George Fant and Max Mitchell are currently on injured reserve, and Duane Brown, who starts at left tackle, is playing with a shoulder injury after missing the first four games of the season.

“He looks good,” Saleh said. “To add a veteran presence is someone who knows our system, someone who’s played and started NFL games in that division, knows what it’s like, knows our language, being able to add that is definitely a plus.”

The Jets released offensive lineman Myron Cunningham from the practice team to make room for Duvernay-Tardif.