Jaguars bring in a familiar face at QB with Nathan Rourke joining the Patriots

• The Jaguars have added E.J. Perry to their practice squad. They needed an extra QB with Trevor Lawrence in concussion protocol.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback EJ Perry #4 throws during the fourth quarter of an NFL preseason
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback EJ Perry #4 throws during the fourth quarter of an NFL preseason / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA

The Jacksonville Jaguars needed an extra quarterback while Trevor Lawrence remains in concussion protocol. With Nathan Rourke joining the New England Patriots, they've turned to E.J. Perry, who was in their practice squad last year.

The Jags signed Perry to their practice squad, per agent Sean Stellato. Perry went undrafted last year and spent training camp with the Jags. He appeared in all three preseason games but didn't make the 53-man roster. The Brown product was then waived and promptly signed to the Jags practice squad, where he spent the whole year.

Perry was released before free agency started. He then had stints with the Houston Texans and the USFL's Michigan Panthers before becoming a free agent once again. With Perry in the fold, the Jags now have a quarterback to back C.J. Beathard up during Trevor Lawrence's stay in concussion protocol.

By adding E.J. Perry to the practice squad and not the active roster, the Jaguars don't have to use an extra spot on a quarterback. They can promote him to the roster for game day via standard elevation and later revert him to the practice squad.

Trevor Lawrence entered concussion protocol after the loss to the Baltimore Ravens. He played the whole game but went to the coaching staff afterward. He's out for an indefinite amount of time, and could potentially miss one game or more.

Previously this season, the Jags signed Nathan Rourke to their active roster, waived him, and added him back to the practice squad. That's likely what they wanted to do after signing him for Week 14 and releasing him before the Ravens games. Alas, the Patriots, who have a priority in the waiver wire, stepped in and claimed him.

E.J. Perry gives the Jacksonville Jaguars insurance at quarterback

The median time out for players in concussion protocol is nine days, so Trevor Lawrence could miss one or two games. By signing E.J. Perry, the Jags are getting a quarterback who won't need much time to learn the playbook, having soaked it up during the 2022 offseason.

Ideally, though, Perry won't have to step on the football field. That would mean Beathard is out, and that's probably the last thing the Jags want with the playoffs on the line. Jacksonville is currently 8-6 and in a three-way tie with the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts for No. 1 in the AFC South. They still hold tiebreakers over their division foes but they no longer have a lead, so the margin for error is slim.

The Jaguars will next face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers. Not having Trevor Lawrence in the mix hurts their chances of coming out on top. Neither NFC South team has a winning record but Jacksonville is riding a three-game losing skid and has struggled against seemingly lesser teams this season.

Optimally, the Jaguars won't have to lean on E.J. Perry to win football games but having him around gives them insurance during Trevor Lawrence's absence and in case C.J. Beathard has to step out of the football field.

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