The big New York Jets offensive lineman with a doctorate in medicine was on the front lines helping fight against a pandemic that gripped the world — and putting his playing career on hold.

“I was part of a movement of thousands of people that went back and helped, whether it was retired nurses or doctors, ” Duvernay-Tardif said. “I think it gave me a different perspective on the medical system. Like, everything is so hierarchical normally, but in a time of crisis, feeling like everybody coming together and working as a team, it was pretty amazing.”

Duvernay-Tardif was coming off having won a Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs in his sixth NFL season when the world’s events tugged at him. For years, his life

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