Watching an NFL preseason game in the fourth quarter rarely pays off, but Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nathan Rourke delivered on Saturday.
In the fourth quarter of the Jaguars’ season-opener against the Dallas Cowboys, Rourke got the ball on the gun and quickly got two of Dallas’ passing tackles, Dorrell Johnson and Quinton Bohanna. The pair appeared to split a sack until Rourke slid in a second later, having also sidestepped Isaiah Land, and hit Kadri Oleson for a 21-yard touchdown that was brought down by Ben Banogo.
Rourke finished the game 9 of 17 for 153 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in the Jaguars’ 28-23 victory.
This is a great way to introduce yourself to the NFL, as Rourke signed his first contract this offseason after two years in the Canadian Football League. After starting three years in Ohio, the Ontario native was drafted in the second round of the 2020 CFL Draft and broke out last season with the BC Lions.
Rourke recorded 3,349 passing yards, a 78.7% CFL completion rate, 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his first full season as a junior, earning CFL Most Outstanding Canadian honors. That was enough to get the NFL interested.
Several teams worked on Rourke’s training last winter, This culminated in a deal with Jaguar. Rourke now sits behind rookie Trevor Lawrence and established backup CJ Beathard on the team’s depth chart. With no other quarterbacks on the roster, he’s likely facing, at worst, a season on Jacksonville’s practice squad, but playing like Saturday could help his case for a roster spot.