Nathan Rourke to sign with NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars
TORONTO — Nathan Rourke has decided where he will be playing football next season.
The BC Lions quarterback announced on his social media on Sunday that he has chosen to sign with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.
“Ultimately my decision came down to my commitment to the pursuit of the dream I first had as a youngster watching Brett Favre win Super Bowls on NFL Films,” Rourke wrote in the post.
“I am excited to announce that the realization of that dream starts today. After much prayer and deliberation, I will be signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars. I am looking forward to getting to work with my new teammates and coaches.”
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— Nathan Rourke (@nathan_rourke) January 15, 2023
After a sensational 2022 campaign, Rourke was named the season’s Most Outstanding Canadian, becoming the first quarterback in franchise history to earn the achievement.
Rourke finished the year completing 78.7 per cent of his 324 passing attempts and threw for 3,349 yards and 25 touchdowns while playing in just 10 games.
Prior to suffering a foot injury in Week 11 that would keep him sidelined until the team’s final game of the regular season, Rourke led the Lions to an 8-1 start. In addition to helping the Lions burst onto the CFL scene, Rourke also repeatedly made league history through his first nine games.
In just his second game as the Lions’ starter, Rourke threw for 436 yards and four touchdowns, setting the all-time single game passing yards record by a Canadian quarterback. It’s a record that Rourke would go on to break twice more during the year. In Week 9, he rewrote his own record when he threw for 477 yards, only to follow it up with a 488-yard performance in Week 10.
The Lions’ offence finished the year as one of the most revered passing attacks in the country. BC’s offence led the league in passing yards per game (300.3) and completion percentage (71.6), while tying for the second lowest interception total with 13.
Rourke manned the pivot spot for 122 offensive possessions and led 38 touchdown drives for the Lions over the course of the regular season. With Rourke under centre, the Lions converted 31.1 per cent of their offensive possessions into touchdowns, which was the most of any quarterback in the league.
When attacking opposing defences downfield, Rourke proved to be the league’s most effective deep ball thrower. He completed a league-high 65.3 per cent of his passes at a targeted depth of 20 yards or more, throwing for 1,122 yards, 18 touchdowns, just four interceptions and a quarterback efficiency rating of 158.3.