It was in the CFL game the Lions had vs. the Saskatchewan Roughriders last week that Nathan Rourke got injured, thus ending what has been an extraordinary season for the 24-year-old QB. Yeah, they won the game 28 to 10, but the victory was bitter-sweet, as they lost a massive cog in Nathan Rourke.
The injury, as has also been reported by TSN, was to his foot specifically. He is set to get surgery on the foot, but word on the street is, his season may just be over, which is of course tragic; especially considering how it was going. He is hopeful though, as TSN also stated, that he can return before season’s end (2022), but that remains to be seen.
Rourke of course has had a record-breaking season…most passes by a Canadian in a regular season game, has been named the league’s top in rushing for the QB spot, and with a rating in efficiency of 125.1, he is just behind Ricky Ray (Toronto Argonauts), who set records himself back in 2013.
All this and a whole lot of accolades for Rourke over the course of the season certainly set him apart and he was talked about and written about extensively. Yours truly also penned quite a few pieces on the prodigy that is undoubtedly Nathan Rourke.
But this is professional football ladies and gentlemen, and injuries happen, unfortunately; especially when you’re facing a team like he Saskatchewan Roughriders, who have had disciplinary problems all season long, and it’s getting worse…but more on that next time.
For now we wish Rourke a speedy recovery and for the Lions, we wonder what’s next, especially for that QB position.
But wait! As of this writing, we have an answer to the question of who will be replacing Rourke, and the odds are the team will be in good hands with one Michael O’Connor considering his track record…especially the work he did back in college.
In images from Monday’s BC Lions practice, O’Connor looked well at home directing traffic on the field, telling his players where to be and when. His mindset is showing through in his actions and his words. He doesn’t at all seem intimidated by the opportunity, which in the end just might help deliver a win—yet another win against the Roughriders…tonight at 10:30 PM EST.
He had some impressive words for the press, stating that some of the best advice he’s gotten came from his mother. Here’s some of what he had to say:
“My mom always told me never take a knee. And that kind of sticks with me to this day. I’ll be having to be dragged off the field…
I take pride in my toughness, I think it’s a necessity in this league as a quarterback, to be able to play through pain and to be able to go out there and be there for your teammates.”via The Province
About tonight’s opportunity eh had this to say:
“Jordan has been calling a great game plan week in, week out. And he’s been putting us in a position to succeed. And you know, I’m really comfortable in his offence and confident in my ability to execute…
I’m not trying to go out there and be ‘12’ (Rourke’s number). I’m trying to go out there and be ‘11’ (his own number) and do what I do best.”via The province (link above)
It was at Ashbury that O’Connor played his high school ball, and at Penn State (as well as at the University of BC) that he played his college ball, and his coach back at Ashbury, Jon Landon, had some words to share about O’Connor:
“All over the place amazing…I was talking to another teacher just recently about Michael’s talent in those days, and we said then ‘if he doesn’t make it, I don’t know who will.’ …
We just rolled over teams. We had some decent receivers, but Michael having that skill set at such a young age, that athleticism, made it work.”via The province (link above)
Promising indeed, dear readers. He played for the Toronto Argonauts at the start of his CFL career and was signed to the Calgary Stampeders soon after that. He’s been with the Lions since February of this year.
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