An NFL starting offensive lineman has decided to opt out of his contract due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kansas City Chiefs starting offensive guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif announced with a post on Twitter that he will be utilizing the opt-out option of his contract for the 2020 season. Instead of playing football, Duvernay-Tardif will continue to work as an orderly at a long-term healthcare facility in Canada.

Below is the statement Duvernay-Tardif released on Twitter:

Given the worldwide sanitary crisis we are currently experiencing, the NFL and the NFLPA have agreed to significant health and safety protocols to protect the players. There is no doubt in my mind the Chiefs’ medical staff have put together a strong plan to minimize the health risks associated with COVID-19 but some risks will remain.

This is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in my life but I must follow my convictions and do what I believe is right for me personally. That is why I have decided to take the Opt Out Option negotiated by the League and the NFLPA and officially opt out of the 2020 NFL season.

Being at the frontline during this offseason has given me a different perspective on this pandemic and the stress it puts on individuals and our healthcare system. 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.

I want to thank everyone in the Kansas City Chiefs organization for their support and understanding.

Duvernay-Tardif is the first player in the NFL to opt out of his contract due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A sixth-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, Duvernay-Tardif has played in 60 career games and made 57 starts. He’s played his entire career with the Chiefs and was a member of last year’s Super Bowl-winning organization.