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Meet the Newest New England Patriot: Nathan Rourke

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Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nathan Rourke (18) stands back to pass during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Miami Dolphins, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

Just as QB Will Grier was exiting the building, another quarterback was entering. On Monday, the New England Patriots claimed QB Nathan Rourke off waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars. Rourke was on the Jaguars was 53-man roster for one game this season, and elevated from the practice squad for another. He has yet to appear in an NFL game.

Ohio Bobcats

The 25-year-old Canadian began his college career in Canada before transferring to Ohio University. He was a three-year starter for the Bobcats, and went 3-0 in bowl games. The dual-threat quarterback finished his college career 7,457 yards passing, 60 touchdown passes, and 20 interceptions. Rourke also ran for 2,034 yards and 49 touchdown during his three seasons with Ohio. In his senior season, he was named the 2019 First Team All-MAC QB.

BC Lions

Rourke was drafted in the second round of the Canadian Football League Draft in 2020. However, the 2020 CFL season was cancelled due to COVID. In 2021 he served as a backup on the BC Lions, before taking over as the starter the following season.

Nathan Rourke’s sophomore season in the CFL was an impressive one. He played in 10 games, and was named CFL Top Performer of the Week five times. He completed 78.7% of his passes for 3,349 yards. Rourke also rushed for 304 yards and seven scores. His completion percentage set a new CFL record. Unfortunately, a Lisfranc sprain in his right foot required surgery and caused him to miss several games. The injury also cost him the Most Outstanding Player Award, although he was still named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Following his successful 2022 campaign, Rourke worked out for 12 NFL teams. The New England Patriots were not among the many teams that Rourke auditioned for. He ultimately signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. After being part of their final cuts, Rourke was signed back to the Jaguars practice squad. He was signed to the 53-man roster for one game, after which he cleared waivers and returned to the practice squad in Jacksonville. He did not see any game action.

New England Patriots

Nathan Rourke joins a New England Patriots team in need of another quarterback option. The Patriots recently lost quarterbacks Malik Cunningham (Ravens) and Will Grier (Chargers) off their practice squad.

Including preseason, New England has had Mac Jones, Bailey Zappe, Malik Cunningham, Trace McSorley, Matt Corral, Ian Book, Will Grier, and now Nathan Rourke with the team at quarterback.

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