SPORTS

A New England Patriot Will Play On The U.S. Olympic Rugby Team

Nate Ebner will be the only active NFL player representing his country in Rio.
Nate Ebner catches a ball during a training session at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, on July 14, 20
Nate Ebner catches a ball during a training session at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, on July 14, 2016.

New England Patriots safety Nate Ebner has officially been selected to represent the United States in rugby at the 2016 Rio Olympics, according to USA Rugby, which announced the full team roster Monday. 

Ebner’s selection to the rugby team makes him the only active NFL player heading to Rio. He will not, however, be the only Olympian with ties to the NFL. Former Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best is set to represent St. Lucia in the 100-meter sprint.

Nate Ebner during a Patriots practice at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 25, 2015.
Nate Ebner during a Patriots practice at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 25, 2015.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick expressed no concern over Ebner missing the team’s offseason practices to attend the Olympics in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “Even though he will be away from our team during an important period of our offseason, he will still be getting excellent physical training, and I expect him to be ready for the football season like he always is,” Belichick said. 

At least 26 other NFL athletes have competed at the Olympics in the past. 

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