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Report: Giants sign former Patriots special teams ace Nate Ebner

The Giants add to their special teams

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants are signing Nate Ebner, formerly of the New England Patriots.

Ebner, 31, is a former rugby player who was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Ebner was a late arrival to football, only picking up the game as a walk-on at Ohio State in his junior year. He became a special teams ace for the Buckeyes and continued in that role for the Patriots. Interestingly, Ebner played for the U.S. Rugby team in the 2016 Olympics, and (along with Patrick Chung) is a part owner of the New England Freejacks, a Major League Rugby team.

Ebner will be listed as a safety on the depth chart, but he is unlikely to see any snaps on defense. He played all of one defensive snap for the Patriots over the last three seasons, but has played 819 special teams snaps over that span. Ebner played on New England’s kick coverage teams as well as served as their personal punt protector, so we should expect him to play a similar role with the Giants.