Former Ohio State safety and special teams standout Nate Ebner announced on Tuesday that he won’t play for the U.S. Olympic rugby team at the Tokyo Games next month after suffering and having surgery on an undisclosed injury this offseason.
“It pains me to announce my withdrawal from competing for a spot at the Tokyo Olympics with the USA Men’s Sevens,” Ebner wrote in a post on Twitter. “After the 2020 NFL Season, I had an injury that required offseason surgery. While my recovery is on track for the next football season, unfortunately the time tables did not align with trials for the Games.
“Thank you to USA Rugby for welcoming me back into the squad like family. And thank you to the players working so hard to make the Olympic team and help the United States bring home a medal. I’d also like to thank the New York Giants for their support as I chase another dream. I look forward to the 2021 NFL Season and will continue to work hard every day to be ready.
“Finally, thank you to all those who supported my journey thus far. Your encouragement has been amazing and motivates me to keep pushing forward.”
A walk-on from Hilliard (Ohio) Davidson, Ebner recorded 30 tackles on special teams in three seasons with the Buckeyes from 2009-11. He was a three-time academic All-Big Ten selection and received the Bo Rein Award during his senior season as the team’s most inspirational player.
Ebner was selected by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft and spent eight seasons with the franchise, winning three Super Bowls. He also competed in the 2016 Olympics, though the rugby sevens team ultimately finished ninth in Rio.
Ebner signed a free-agent deal with the New York Giants last offseason, where he was reunited with head coach Joe Judge, who previously served as the Patriots wide receivers coach and special teams coordinator. He’s recorded 103 tackles, one pass break up and one forced fumble in his NFL career, which spans 127 games.
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