Nate Ebner’s knee injury appears to be season-ending

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The Patriots have built their foundation on having the best coach, the best quarterback, but have always emphasized special teams.

That last group took a hit yesterday.

According to Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network (it apparently took both of them), Patriots special teamer Nate Ebner isn’t expected to return this season after suffering a knee injury on a fake punt.

Ebner, who played rubgy on the United States Olympic team, used those skills on what could be his final play of the season.

He took the snap out of punt formation and ran 14 yards for the first down.

They’ve also been missing special teams captain Matthew Slater with a hamstring issue, though was practicing last week and could be close to coming back.