Patrick Mahomes surprised, but respects Laurent Duvernay-Tardif for opting out of NFL season

February 15, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes during NBA All Star Saturday Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes shared his thoughts on teammate Laurent Duvernay-Tardif opting out of the 2020 NFL Season.

As shared by Adam Teicher of ESPN, Mahomes said he was surprised “but I respect his decision.”

Mahomes also said that after being initially concerned about returning to the team’s practice facility due to COVID-19, he’s relieved now after seeing how the protocols have been put into place.

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif opted out to fight COVID-19 in Canada

Duvernay-Tardif, who has his doctorate in medicine, became the first NFL player to officially opt out of the 2020 NFL season on Friday. Since April, he has been serving as an orderly at a long-term care facility in Canada.

Rather than play in the NFL for the 2020 season, he will continue to serve in that capacity as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.

He announced his decision with a vulnerable, thoughtful message shared on Twitter. It was was highlighted with him writing, “I cannot allow myself to potentially transmit the virus in our communities simply to play the sport that I love. If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients.”

Last season, Duvernay-Tardif started 14 regular-season games for the Chiefs and all three postseason games, helping the franchise win its first Super Bowl in 50 years.

This past offseason, he renegotiated his contract with the franchise and was set to earn $2.75 million in base salary. Now that he has opted out of the 2020 NFL season, he will instead earn $150,000.