Canadian QB Nathan Rourke caps pre-season with another TD drive for Jaguars

Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke will now play the waiting game after finishing the NFL pre-season with two more drives of work for the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday.

The Jaguars’ third-stringer entered the game against the Miami Dolphins in the third quarter and immediately led his team on a 10-play, 88-yard touchdown drive, capped by an eight-yard run by JaMycal Hasty. Rourke recovered his own fumble earlier in the drive to keep it alive.

Rourke’s final drive ended with a punt after he was sacked on a first-down play.

The game was called midway through the fourth quarter after Dolphins wide receiver Daewood Davis was carted off the field and taken to hospital with an injury. The Dolphins said he was conscious and had movement in all extremeties.

The Jaguars won 31-18.

Rourke, an NFL rookie after being named most outstanding Canadian in the CFL last year with the B.C. Lions, completed four of six passes for 74 yards and rushed two times for five yards.

In three pre-season games, he completed 23 of 35 passes for 348 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.

Rourke is entrenched as Jacksonville’s third quarterback after head coach Doug Pederson said last week that C.J. Beathard will start the season as Trevor Lawrence’s backup.

Under a new rule for the 2023 season, NFL teams can designate a player as an emergency quarterback. But that role can only be given to a player on the 53-man roster and not to someone on the practice squad.

So, the Jaguars can either keep Rourke on the 53-man roster as the third quarterback or they can waive him to try to assign him to the practice squad, making him available for another team to claim. Pro Football Talk reports that only 12 teams carried three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster last season but it’s unclear for now how the new rule will change how teams manage the most important position.

The deadline for teams to trim rosters down to 53 players is Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

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