HOUSTON (WHDH) - Patriots safety Nate Ebner is coming off a busy off-season playing in the Olympics to take part in this year’s Super Bowl.
Ebner was granted a leave of absence last summer by Coach Bill Belichick to play for the United States Men’s Rugby team at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Which meant his off-season was full of lots of training.
“Rugby hadn’t been in the Olympics for almost 100 years,” said Ebner. “It’s a sport you grew up playing your entire life and then you find out it’s the Olympics and you have the ability to play at the highest level. Who doesn’t want to be in the Olympics?”
Ebner was inspired to go out for Team USA in memory of his father, who was killed in a robbery at the family’s business when Ebner was in college. Jeff Ebner taught his son how to play rugby and coached him in high school. Ebner called playing in the Olympics a “great way” to honor his father and said the Patriots were completely behind him in his decision.
Team USA placed ninth in the Olympics and now Ebner is looking for a title in his second sport.
“How many Olympians are Super Bowl champions? He’s one of a kind,” said teammate Matt Slater.
Ebner suffered a concussion against the Steelers in the AFC championship game but is expected to play in the Super Bowl.
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