- Canadian Rourke Joins Jaguars: Nathan Rourke, a Canadian talent, has been elevated to the Jacksonville Jaguars’ active roster.
- Trevor Lawrence’s Optimism: Lawrence, the starting quarterback, remains optimistic about his chances of playing after a knee injury.
- Rourke’s Impressive CFL Stint: Rourke was the CFL’s top Canadian in 2022, and his preseason performance with the Jaguars caught attention.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are making a strategic move as they prepare to face the New Orleans Saints. Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke, hailing from Victoria, has been elevated from the practice squad to the active roster. This decision comes on the heels of starter Trevor Lawrence’s left knee injury during the Jaguars’ recent win over the Indianapolis Colts.
As Jacksonville (4-2, leading in AFC South) gears up for the Thursday night clash against the New Orleans Saints (3-3), Lawrence’s status remains uncertain. However, Lawrence expressed optimism earlier this week about returning to action on short notice.
Rourke, standing at six-foot-one and weighing 210 pounds, initially signed with Jacksonville as a free agent on January 6, following his two-season stint with the CFL’s B.C. Lions. During the Jaguars’ exhibition schedule, Rourke showcased his skills, completing 23-of-35 passes for 348 yards and securing a touchdown. Subsequently, he was placed on waivers but found a spot on the Jaguars’ practice roster.
In the 2022 CFL season, Rourke emerged as the league’s top Canadian performer. He displayed remarkable accuracy, completing 78.7 percent of his passes (255-of-324) for 3,349 yards, 25 touchdowns, and only 10 interceptions in ten regular-season starts. Additionally, his ground game was potent, with 304 rushing yards, averaging 7.8 yards per carry, and seven touchdowns.
Rourke’s accomplishments weren’t limited to the CFL; during his college years at Ohio University (2017-19), he accumulated 7,457 passing yards and 60 touchdowns while leading the Bobcats to three consecutive bowl victories. He was a two-time recipient of the Jon Cornish Trophy (2017-18) as the NCAA’s top Canadian football player.
Rourke’s journey to the NFL began when the B.C. Lions selected him in the second round, 15th overall, in the 2020 CFL draft. Due to the global pandemic, the 2020 CFL season was canceled, so Rourke officially launched his professional career in Canada in the following year.
With the move, the Jaguars added an extra layer of insurance at quarterback by signing Nathan Rourke to the 53-man roster. C.J. Beathard was the only other quarterback on the active roster prior to this move. This means he could step in if both Lawrence and Beathard are unable to continue playing during Thursday’s game. He could also remain of the active roster for several weeks as Lawrence’s knee injury lingers.
The Jaguars seem to be securing their options as the season progresses, and Rourke’s presence on the roster adds depth to the quarterback position. As Trevor Lawrence’s knee injury situation unfolds, Rourke’s role in the team may evolve, making him a significant player to watch in the upcoming games.
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