NFL owners approving emergency third QB bylaw benefits Canadian Nathan Rourke

Courtesy: AP Photo/John Raoux

National Football League owners have approved a bylaw allowing teams to dress an emergency third quarterback on game days without using an active roster spot, which could add to Canadian Nathan Rourke’s value.

Rourke signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in January after a stellar CFL season in 2022 that caught the attention of NFL franchises. He’s one of three quarterbacks currently in Jacksonville and, if he earns a regular-season roster spot with the Jags, he would presumably be designated as the last QB option if Trevor Lawrence and C.J. Beathard happened to be injured or disqualified in the same game.

According to the league’s new rule, each team may designate one emergency third quarterback from its 53-man active/inactive player list. That player will be eligible to be activated during the game if their team’s first two quarterbacks are removed due to injury. If either injured quarterback is cleared by the medical staff to return to the field, the emergency QB must be removed from the game.

From 1991-2010, NFL teams could have three quarterbacks active on game day, but that option was gone until now. It’s important to note that a team cannot use the emergency quarterback bylaw if already carrying three on its active game-day roster.

Meanwhile, the 24-year-old Rourke has been in Jacksonville for the Jaguars’ offseason workout program and organized training activities. He’s been throwing with Lawrence and other skill position players while learning Doug Pederson and Press Taylor’s offensive scheme.

Jacksonville went 9-8 last season to earn the AFC South Division title and won an AFC Wild Card game with a comeback from being down 27-0 to win 31-30. The Jaguars are the favourites, according to DraftKings, to win the AFC South Division this coming season.

Jacksonville did not sign a QB in free agency, select one in the 2023 NFL Draft or sign any as an undrafted free agent. That shows the Jags’ belief in Rourke, one of three QBs on the roster, along with Lawrence and Beathard.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.