As a member of the U.S. national rugby sevens team, New England Patriots safety and special teams player Nate Ebner was the only active NFL player to compete at the Rio Olympics this month.
Ebner had to get Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's blessing to miss offseason activities and a large chunk of training camp, but the coach said Ebner would be getting excellent physical training and expected him to be ready for the season. On Tuesday, the 27-year-old made his return (#43):
Photo: Olympian Nate Ebner (43) is back with the Patriots but not yet ready for full-pads work. pic.twitter.com/EQ2xuOIJKd— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) August 16, 2016
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Although the U.S. team didn't advance to medal play at Rio, Ebner posted a couple highlights against in a blowout win over Brazil when he scored and also laid out an opponent.
Ebner also made an impact at Patriots camp even during his absence: Belichick gave the team the night off on August 9 so they could watch the U.S. match against Argentina.