Canadian QB Nathan Rourke clears waivers, signs practice roster agreement with Jaguars

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Nathan Rourke is joining the practice roster with the Jacksonville Jaguars after clearing NFL waivers following his release on Tuesday.

Rourke completed 66 percent of his preseason pass attempts for 348 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions. He also carried the ball 14 times for 39 yards and a rushing touchdown. He went viral in his NFL preseason debut against the Dallas Cowboys with a spectacular touchdown pass after he broke a number of tackles.

Rourke worked out for 12 NFL teams this past off-season, including Cleveland, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Denver, Indianapolis, Tampa Bay, Arizona, New York Giants, and the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Jaguars made clear throughout the preseason that 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 during the offseason.

Beathard completed 60.4 percent of his preseason pass attempts for 352 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and added a short-yardage touchdown along the ground.

New NFL rules adopted this offseason allow teams that carry three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster and activate the third one on game-day in the event of an injury to the first two without using a 46-man slot. 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, going 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 to 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.

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