Nate Ebner out of Olympic rugby after surgery, plans to play in 2021 NFL season

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Nate Ebner will not be an Olympian this year, but does plan to be an NFL player.

Ebner, who was on the U.S. Olympic rugby team in 2016 and had been planning to compete again in Tokyo next month, announced today that he will be unable to participate in the rugby team tryouts as he continues to rehab from an injury he suffered last season with the Giants.

“It pains me to announce my withdrawal from competing for a spot at the Tokyo Olympics,” Ebner wrote on Instagram. “After the 2020 NFL season, I had an injury that required off-season 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.”

Although Ebner is a free agent, Giants coach Joe Judge has indicated that the team would like to bring him back once his rugby commitments are over. It appears likely that Ebner, who played in all 16 games for the Giants and was their special teams captain last year, will be back with the Giants, perhaps sooner than expected.