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Patriots S Nate Ebner returns from Olympics, should be at Sunday practice; Patriots release lineman

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The Patriots special teams star should return to the field.

New England Patriots safety Nate Ebner did not bring home the gold medal for rugby, but he put forth a great effort. I had a lot of fun watching him play and scored a few times on the biggest stage.

He is apparently back in the States and should be ready for Patriots practice today.

The Patriots special teams unit was atrocious against the Saints, giving up punt returns of 48 yards and 19 yards, and a kick return of 30 yards. This is unacceptable to head coach Bill Belichick, and Ebner will jump right back in to set the unit straight.

After watching Ebner play rugby, it makes so much sense as to why he’s a successful special teams player. He has a great sense for the flow of players and can make stops in the open field. He will join the Patriots as the punt protector (Jordan Richards held the position in his absence) and will help on kick offs.

According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Ebner will receive a $250,000 reporting bonus for showing up at camp. Not a bad way to return home.

The Patriots have released offensive guard Kyler Kerbyson to make space for Ebner. Kerbyson joined the team over the summer after the Navy cleared Mean Joe Cardona, which led to the Patriots release of back-up long snapper Christian Young.