Nate Ebner adds Olympic appearance to bucket list

Not to worry, Nate, this one won't bring a fine from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Team USA lost its opening bout against Argentina on Tuesday, 17-14, but it bounced back in a big way against Brazil.

On Tuesday, Ebner had the full support of his Boston Brothers as he helped Team USA to a 26-0 thumping of Brazil. He plans to rejoin the Patriots when rugby sevens competition concludes on August 11.

Patriots coaches wore shirts supporting Ebner at Tuesday's practice and the team then gathered as a group to watch him and the United States team beat Brazil on Tuesday night.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Nate Ebner is making Olympic history for being the only active National Football League player who was given the chance to play for his country and capture the gold in Rio Olympics. It's definitely going to be one I'll remember for the rest of my life, just the whole journey, the whole process, from making the decision to be here now to the friends and family that's supported me in everything I've done.

Belichick isn't the warm and fuzzy type, but he does appreciate other sports - especially lacrosse, but in this case rugby - and gave Ebner, a core special-teamer on the Patriots, the blessing to chase his Olympic dreams.

Instead, the Americans will be relegated to playing the loser's bracket now.

While football games are 60 minutes of action interrupted by whistles and commercials, rugby sevens consists of two seven-minute halves and a two-minute halftime.

It was the first time rugby was part of the Olympic program in many years, which likely made it the first exposure to the sport for many watching in the United States. "Repeat for seven minutes, take a knee for 120 seconds, and then do it again". The U.S.is now eliminated from medal contention.

  • Angelo Rivera