nate ebner giants
Syndication: The Record

Joe Judge believes veteran special teams weapon Nate Ebner will return to the Giants following his Olympic rugby training.

Nate Ebner, at this moment in time, is not with the Giants organization.

The veteran special teams ace and rugby player is currently a free agent while he trains for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. It’s worth noting Ebner was with the United States National Rugby Team at the 2016 Rio Olympics opening ceremony.

This chapter of his rugby career isn’t going to put his football-playing days in the past though — head coach Joe Judge believes Ebner will return to the Giants for the 2021 season.

“Technically, Nate’s a free agent right now, but we fully intend for him to be a member of the Giants,” Judge told the media Saturday. “And he’s got to go through Olympic rugby training, we’re supporting him on that right there. But that’s an experience I’ve been through with him before — he returned from the Olympics in 2016 and then had a tremendous year for [the Patriots].

“So I’ve gone through this before with him, I understand exactly how his training applies and how it could lead into football…he’s a guy that’s very locked in, very focused, he was a captain for us last year and he’s a great team leader. This team and what he’s helping build is very important to him…he’s a very important part of this team and we’re looking forward to getting him back.”

Judge and Ebner worked with one another in New England from 2012-19 before both came to the Giants prior to the 2020 season. Following the 2016 Olympics, Ebner racked up 19 combined tackles and a forced fumble that ensuing season en route to earning second-team All-Pro honors.

Ebner was on the field for 81% of the Giants’ special teams snaps in 2020.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.