Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke could dress for his first career NFL game on Thursday depending on the health of Jacksonville Jaguars’ franchise pivot Trevor Lawrence.
The former first overall pick out of Clemson University injured his knee on the final play of Jacksonville’s second-last drive against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Veteran backup C. J. Beathard took the field for the club’s final drive, kneeling on three consecutive plays to secure the 37-20 victory.
“I’m feeling OK. I’m gonna get it checked out tonight and see kinda what’s going on. I feel pretty good, I’m walking around alright, so can’t really say much now, just want to make sure everything’s checked out,” Lawrence told the media postgame. “It’s a little bit bruised, too, so we’re just trying to sort through what it is right now.”
The 24-year-old is reportedly considered day-to-day, which is an indication the injury isn’t serious. However, the Jaguars are on a short week as the club is scheduled to visit the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, Oct. 19 with kickoff slated for 8:15 p.m. EDT.
Rourke has spent the first six weeks of the NFL season on the practice roster with the Jaguars after being waived following training camp. During the preseason, he completed 65.7 percent of his passes for 348 yards, one touchdown, and zero interceptions and rushed 14 times for 39 yards and one touchdown.
The native of Victoria, B.C. threw for 3,349 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions and rushed for 304 yards and seven touchdowns over 10 games with the B.C. Lions in 2022. He was the first quarterback to be named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian since 1980 and helped the Lions reach the West Final despite playing with a lingering foot injury.
Jacksonville currently has only three quarterbacks under contract, meaning Rourke should be activated if Lawrence is unable to play against the Saints on Thursday. The six-foot-two, 209-pound dual-threat passer has yet to dress for a regular season NFL game.
Lawrence has completed 67.1 percent of his passes for 1,439 yards, seven touchdowns, and four interceptions this season along with 33 carries for 147 yards. The Jaguars have won three straight games to lead the AFC South with a 4-2 record.