July 16th, 2024

Jacksonville Jaguars sign Canadian Rourke to their active roster

By The Canadian Press on October 18, 2023.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nathan Rourke (18) in action during an NFL pre-season football game against the Miami Dolphins, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Canadian Rourke has been elevated to the Jaguars active roster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Gary McCullough

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Canadian Nathan Rourke has been elevated to the Jacksonville Jaguars active roster.

The NFL team announced Wednesday it had signed the Victoria native from the practice squad to the active roster. The move comes after starter Trevor Lawrence suffered a left knee injury in the club’s 37-20 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

Jacksonville (4-2, first in AFC South) is slated to face the New Orleans Saints (3-3) on Thursday night. Lawrence’s status for that game remains unclear although the quarterback stated earlier this week he was optimistic about playing on a short week.

The six-foot-one, 210-pound Rourke signed with Jacksonville as a free agent Jan. 6 following two seasons with the CFL’s B.C. Lions. He completed 23-of-35 passes for 348 yards and a TD during the Jaguars’ exhibition schedule.

Afterwards, Rourke was placed on waivers and later joined the Jaguars’ practice roster.

Rourke was the CFL’s top Canadian in 2022, completing 255-of-324 passes (78.7 per cent) for 3,349 yards with 25 TDs and 10 interceptions in 10 regular-season starts. The former Ohio star also ran 39 times for 304 yards (7.8-yard average) and seven touchdowns,

At Ohio (2017-19, Rourke threw for 7,457 yards and 60 touchdowns while leading the Bobcats to three consecutive bowl victories. Twice he received the Jon Cornish Trophy (2017-18) as the top Canadian football player in the NCAA ranks.

The Lions selected Rourke in the second round, No. 15 overall, of the 2020 CFL draft. He began his pro career in Canada the following year as the league didn’t hold a 2020 season due to the global pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2023.

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