nate ebner giants
Syndication: The Record

Nate Ebner was not with the Giants this offseason — he was training for a spot on the U.S. Olympic men’s rugby team.

Could Nate Ebner be returning to the Giants for a second season?

The veteran special teams ace wasn’t with the team this offseason; he was a free agent and also training for a spot on the U.S. Olympic men’s rugby team, which will be competing this summer at the Tokyo Olympics.

However, things have changed.

Ebner announced Tuesday he would be withdrawing from competition due to an injury that needed surgery following the 2020 NFL season. Nate notes the subsequent timetable for recovery “did not align with trials for the Games” but should have him ready for football.

He additionally writes, “I look forward to the 2021 NFL season and will continue to work hard every day to be ready.”

Last month, Giants head coach Joe Judge spoke on Ebner’s potential return to the team following his rugby training, sounding very confident he’d be back.

“Technically, Nate’s a free agent right now, but we fully intend for him to be a member of the Giants,” Judge said. “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.”

The Giants acquired Ebner via the free-agent market last offseason after he spent eight years with the Patriots (all alongside Judge).

The 32-year-old racked up eight combined tackles (six solo) last season.

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