Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke could be back on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ active roster following an injury to franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence on Monday Night Football.
“Everything’s stable and looks good, we’ll see where he is in a couple of days,” head coach Doug Pederson said about Lawrence’s injury. “Where it is in the ankle, it’s not something that surgery would be warranted at this time.”
According to Pederson, Lawrence suffered a high-ankle sprain in Jacksonville’s 34-31 overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The 24-year-old was injured in the fourth quarter when he was stepped on by offensive lineman Walker Little. Backup QB C.J. Beathard finished the game, completing 9-of-10 passes for 63 yards.
“I thought C.J. filled in nicely. It’ll be good to get C.J. a full week of preparation. Trevor will stay mentally sharp,” Pederson said.
The 55-year-old bench boss would not put a timetable on Lawrence’s possible return. If he does miss time, it’s likely Rourke would be elevated to the active roster for the second time this season. He suited up for Jacksonville’s Week 7 Thursday night game against the New Orleans Saints but saw no action.
“He’s long, he’s tall and very flexible. The one last night looked worse than it really was — very fortunate,” Pederson said. “I want to make sure that Trevor is 100 percent before I put him back on the field — definitely don’t want to risk further injury.”
Pederson was asked specifically about bringing in another quarterback, namely free agent Nick Foles because he has knowledge and experience in Pederson’s offence from days together with the Philadelphia Eagles.
“We haven’t had those discussions, yet,” Pederson said.
Rourke has spent the majority of his first NFL season on the practice squad after being waived by the Jaguars following training camp. During the preseason, he completed 65.7 percent of his passes for 348 yards with one touchdown, and zero interceptions while rushing 14 times for 39 yards and one touchdown. If Lawrence is unable to play on Sunday, Rourke could dress as the team’s primary backup behind Beathard.
The native of Victoria, B.C. threw for 3,349 yards with 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions plus 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.
Lawrence has completed 67.9 percent of his passes for 3,004 yards with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season along with 56 carries for 248 yards and four touchdowns. The Jaguars have an 8-4 record and lead the AFC South by one game over the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans.
Jacksonville travels to Cleveland to take on the Browns on Sunday, December 10 with kickoff slated for 1:00 p.m. ET.