- Kansas City Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is opting out of the 2020 NFL season
- Duvernay-Tardif has been the Chiefs’ starting right guard for the past five seasons
- PFF graded Duvernay-Tardif as the lowest-rated player on the Chiefs offense last year
The Kansas City Chiefs lost a key piece of their offensive line when starting guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif announced that he’s going to opt out of the NFL season. The Chiefs Super Bowl odds remain unchanged at +650 but should bettors be weary as Patrick Mahomes’ chief protection unit has now weakened?
Super Bowl 55 Odds
|Team||2019 Record||Odds at FanDuel|
|Kansas City Chiefs||12-4||+650|
|San Francisco 49ers||13-3||+900|
|New Orleans Saints||13-3||+1200|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||7-9||+1500|
|New England Patriots||12-4||+1700|
Odds taken July 25th.
Duvernay-Tardif Opts Out To Continue Fight Against COVID-19
While many athletes in major sports have been pulling out of their league’s season due to concerns about COVID-19, Duvernay-Tardif is actually withdrawing because he wants to continue the fight against it. He earned a medical degree from McGill University and has been collecting the hours necessary to become a doctor in the offseason.
Chiefs’ starting RG @LaurentDTardif is the first NFL player to opt out of his contract due to COVID-19. Duvernay-Tardif will not play this year and instead will continue to work as an orderly at a long-term care facility in Canada, helping fight COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/QBpKCHaFUV
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 25, 2020
While he’s typically on the front lines in the NFL, protecting Mahomes, he’s been on the frontlines in the medical units, helping hospitals battle against the pandemic. That now means he’s the first football player to skip the 2020 season. Although he’s not a huge name, there is some significance here because he’s the first to opt out.
Chiefs Offensive Line Was Above Average Last Season
According to Pro Football Focus, the Chiefs offensive line was the No. 12 unit in the NFL last season. However, Duvernay-Tardif was one of the weaker links in the unit. He was coming off a grade of 59.7 last season, which was the lowest of his career and over the last three seasons, he’s ranked 37th among guards.
#Chiefs G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is coming off the worst season of his career, despite playing 1,000+ snaps for the first time.
— PFF KC Chiefs (@PFF_Chiefs) April 23, 2020
Overall, guys like Mitchell Schwartz, Eric Fisher and Austin Reiter are the anchors here. Duvernay-Tardif has played better (than last year) but if there was one guy that experts would point to as the most replaceable guy, it might be Duvernay-Tardif. PFF gives him the lowest rating on this offense.
Chiefs Should Have Replacements
The Chiefs do have some depth on the offensive line, so they should be able to handle this in stride. Mike Remmers is a decent backup swing tackle while third-round pick Lucas Niang was a good get for the Chiefs. While he’s more of a project, maybe that starts with him on the inside.
#Chiefs HC Andy Reid mentioned veteran OL Mike Remmers as a potential replacement option for Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
— Charles Goldman (@goldmctNFL) July 25, 2020
There are some other solid bodies like Martinas Rankin, who probably gets the first shot to replace him, and Ryan Hunter and Jovahn Fair. They’ll all be competing for the starting role. Given how Duvernay-Tardif played last season and considering the Chiefs won the Super Bowl that year, this probably isn’t that big of a deal.
What’s The Best Bet?
Personally, I wouldn’t change your bet on the Chiefs because of this. Is this a bit of a sour spot because the Chiefs lose a bit of continuity? Yes. At the same time, he’s the lowest-rated player on the offense and it’s at guard, so it’s not a massive loss. If you liked the Chiefs before, you should still like them and if you avoided them before, then stick with the plan.
— Steelers Depot 🏆👑 (@Steelersdepot) July 25, 2020
Overall, for my money, I’m more into taking long shots this year because who knows what will happen with the season. I’d take a flier with teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers (+2400) or the Indianapolis Colts (+2400) because in a weird year where the virus could factor, I think the league is more wide open than usual.