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’ preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys, Rourke got the ball in a shotgun and soon had two Dallas pass rushers, Durrell Johnson and Quinton Bohanna, come down on him. The pair appeared to split a sack until Rourke slipped out a second later, after also avoiding Isaiah Land, and hit Qadree Ollison for a 21-yard touchdown as he was downed by Ben Banogu.
See for yourself:
Rourke finished the game 9-of-17 for 153 passing yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in a 28–23 Jaguars victory.
That’s quite a 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 with the BC Lions last season.
Rourke posted 3,349 passing yards, a CFL-record 78.7% completion percentage, 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his first full season as a starter, earning the CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian award. That was enough to draw NFL interest.
Several teams worked off Rourke last winter, culminating in a deal with the Jaguars. Rourke now sits behind starter Trevor Lawrence and established backup CJ Beathard on the team’s depth chart. With no other quarterbacks on the roster, he’s probably waiting, at worst, for a season on Jacksonville’s practice squad, but playing like Saturday’s could only help his case for a roster spot.