The Jacksonville Jaguars are taking another look at Nathan Rourke.
The ex-B.C. Lions quarterback was signed to the team’s active roster Saturday, an obvious precautionary move with injury doubts hanging over starter Trevor Lawrence and backup C.J. Beathard.
Both quarterbacks were injured in Monday’s Jaguars loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Lawrence suffered a high-ankle sprain, while Beathard is dealing with a shoulder problem.
Lawrence’s injury forced him out of Monday’s game, with Beathard coming in for relief.
“Nathan’s obviously on practice squad, so you can’t bring him up on an activation or an elevation, he’d have to come to the 53 in order to be your 49th guy like we did for New Orleans,” Pederson told reporters on Friday. “Today’s a big day for us. We’ve got to get through today and we’ll make those decisions probably before we leave tomorrow.”
Beathard was a full participant in practice on Friday, meaning he’s ready to play on Sunday, while Lawrence has been listed as questionable after he was limited in practice all week.
Under a new rule brought in by the NFL this season to help teams manage injuries to quarterbacks, Rourke will dress as a 49th player — normally only 48 of the 53 players on the active roster dress for a game.
It’s the second time the Jaguars have made such a roster move with Rourke; they signed him off the practice squad as the team’s 49th player for their Nov. 7 game, but he didn’t play and was later returned to the practice squad.
To return the 25-year-old to the practice squad, the Jags will have to waive Rourke. It’s possible he’d get claimed by another team off waivers, but then again the whole time he’s been on the practice roster he’s been free to sign with another team.
Rourke has been on the Jaguars’ practice squad since the end of training camp; he had a strong pre-season for the Jags, where he threw for 348 yards and one touchdown, as well as as rushing for 39 yards and a touchdown.
Rourke spent the 2022 CFL season with the B.C. Lions, throwing for 3,349 yards with 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also ran for 304 yards and seven touchdowns before suffering a broken foot in the 10th game of the season. Nonetheless, he was named the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian, the first quarterback to do so since 1980.
He returned from his broken foot in the playoffs and helped the Lions make the West final.
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