Canadian QB Nathan Rourke waived by Jacksonville Jaguars

Courtesy: AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke has been waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars, per sources.

Last offseason, Rourke worked out for 12 NFL teams: Cleveland, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Denver, Indianapolis, Tampa Bay, Arizona, New York Giants and Los Angeles Chargers. The Raiders and Browns made his final three.

Rourke had a stellar preseason, completing 23-of-35 pass attempts (66 percent) for 348 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions while rushing 14 times for 39 yards plus another score. He went viral in his NFL preseason debut against the Dallas Cowboys, garnering the attention of reigning league MVP Patrick Mahomes and millions more with a spectacular touchdown pass after he broke a number of tackle attempts.

The Victoria, B.C. native followed it up with another efficient outing against the Detroit Lions, earning praise from head coach Doug Pederson for his poise in the pocket and accuracy. He was expected to play just over a quarter of action last Saturday against the Miami Dolphins but had his final audition end abruptly after just one drive when the game was called because of a serious injury to an opposing player.

Despite his impressive statistics and rave reviews from coaches, the Jaguars made clear throughout the preseason that the 25-year-old Rourke was not in competition for the backup job behind Pro Bowl quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Veteran C.J. Beathard was anointed as the number two after signing a two-year extension this offseason.

He completed 26-of-43 pass attempts (60.4 percent) for 352 yards, two touchdowns and an interception through the preseason, adding one short-yardage touchdown along the ground.

New NFL rules adopted this offseason allow teams that carry three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster to activate the third on gameday in the event of an injury to the first two quarterbacks without using one of the 46 active roster spots. If either injured quarterback is medically cleared, the third quarterback must leave the game.

Rourke is coming off a sensational 2022 season in the CFL during which he completed 78.7 percent of his pass attempts for 3,349 yards with 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 10 games — 8-1 as a starter. He ran the football 39 times for 304 yards and seven scores while becoming the first quarterback to win the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian award since 1980.

The six-foot-two, 209-pound dual-threat passer was a three-year starter at Ohio University from 2017-2019 where he threw for 7,457 yards with 60 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. He recorded 425 carries for 2,634 yards and 49 scores along the ground but received a small amount of NFL interest coming out of the NCAA.

31 other NFL teams now an opportunity to claim him. Waivers will be processed at noon eastern time on Wednesday and the current priority order is as follows:

1) Bears
2) Texans
3) Cardinals
4) Colts
5) Broncos
6) Rams
7) Raiders
8) Falcons
9) Panthers
10) Saints
11) Titans
12) Browns
13) Jets
14) Patriots
15) Packers
16) Commanders
17) Steelers
18) Lions
19) Buccaneers
20) Seahawks
21) Dolphins
22) Chargers
23) Ravens
24) Vikings
25) Jaguars
26) Giants
27) Cowboys
28) Bills
29) Bengals
30) 49ers
31) Eagles
32) Chiefs

Jacksonville will begin the 2023 regular season on Sunday, September 10 when the Jags visit the Indianapolis Colts.

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