Joe Judge ‘fully expects’ Nate Ebner to return to Giants

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Former New York Giants safety Nate Ebner, who became an unrestricted free agent in March, is currently training for a spot at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

In 2016, Ebner was a part of the opening ceremonies at the Games in Rio, representing the United States of America as part of the national rugby team. Rather than become a free agent this year, he returned to the national team.

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“We are very excited to welcome Nate back into the pack,” U.S. coach Mike Friday in March. “He is not only a talented athlete, rugby player and Olympian, he is a durable individual who knows how to grind and is selfless for the cause.

“Nate is an authentic, good man who carries himself with humility, has a burning desire in his eyes to achieve and a passion to embed rugby and its values in the American sporting landscape. He is a Dawg, a Pioneer and will be up for the challenge as we look ahead to Tokyo.”

Whenever Ebner’s time in Tokyo ends, Giants head coach Joe Judge expects him to return to the team.

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Judge expressed support for Ebner at the time of his decision, and also implied there was a possibility for a return down the line.

“We are proud to support Nate in his effort to earn a place on the United States National Rugby team,” Judge said. “This is the second time I have been with Nate while he tries to make the team to represent our country in the Olympics. We know that rugby has been an important part of Nate’s life since he was a young man, and Dave (Gettleman) and I both encouraged him to pursue this opportunity. Nate’s rugby training will keep him in great shape this offseason, and we will stay in touch with him as he goes through the process.”

In 16 games last season, Ebner recorded eight tackles and one pass defensed. The special teams captain was also given a 70.1 grade courtesy or Pro Football Focus (41.2 defensive grade).