Jaguars third-string QB Nathan Rourke breaks 4 tackles in play of the preseason

Watching an NFL preseason game into 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 shotgun and soon had two Dallas pass-rushers, Durrell Johnson and Quinton Bohanna, bearing down on him. The pair appeared to split a sack until Rourke slipped out a second later, having also avoided Isaiah Land, and hit Qadree Ollison for a 21-yard touchdown as he was brought down by Ben Banogu.

Watch for yourself:

Rourke finished the game 9-of-17 for 153 passing yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in a 28-23 Jaguars win.

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 12: Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nathan Rourke (18) has Dallas Cowboys defensive end Ben Banogu (94) wrapped around his legs during the preseason game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 12, 2023 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Touchdown, Jaguars. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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 at 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 posted 3,349 passing yards, a CFL-record 78.7% completion rate, 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 out Rourke last winter, culminating in a deal with the Jaguars. Rourke now sits behind starter Trevor Lawrence and established backup C.J. Beathard on the team’s depth chart. With no other quarterbacks on the roster, he is likely facing, at worst, a season on the Jacksonville practice squad, but plays like Saturday’s can only help his case for a roster spot.

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