Patriots' Ebner taking break to try out for US Rugby team

BOSTON (AP) The Patriots' special teamer Nate Ebner is taking a break from the NFL to attempt to earn a spot with the U.S. Rugby team in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

The Patriots will keep Ebner under contract while he trains with the U.S. Rugby Sevens team at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California.

New England announced Monday it had re-signed the unrestricted free agent, who has appeared mostly on special teams in his 57 career games.

Ebner was Team USA's MVP in the 2007 and 2008 Junior World Championship in 2008. He played rugby exclusively his first two years at Ohio State before walking onto the football team as a junior.

He was selected by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL draft.