Patriots claim Nathan Rourke off waivers from Jaguars at worst possible time

• The Patriots have signed Nathan Rourke off the Jaguars' PS

• The Jags will now need to look for another QB

• The move came at the worst possible time for the Jags

Aug 26, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA;  Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nathan Rourke (18) drops
Aug 26, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nathan Rourke (18) drops / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars are dealing with a shortage of quarterbacks following the loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Not only is Trevor Lawrence in concussion protocol but the New England Patriots have claimed preseason superstar Nathan Rourke, leaving C.J. Beathard as the Jags' lone healthy quarterback ahead of Week 16.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Media first reported the move, and it it's a matter of time before the team makes an official announcement. Rourke signed with the Jaguars in January and spent training camp and the preseason with them. However, he didn't make the 53-man roster and landed in the practice squad not long after.

Rourke, a British Columbia native, went 23-of-25 for 348 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions in the preseason. The escapability skills that helped him connect with Qadree Ollison for a touchdown in Week 1 of the preseason broke the internet and turned heads around the league.

Although Rourke spent most of the 2023 season on the Jags' practice squad, he was signed twice to their active roster. First in Week 7, when Trevor Lawrence was dealing with a knee injury, and most recently in Week 14. Lawrence had sprained his ankle the week before and he was a game-time decision, so Jacksonville brought in Rourke as insurance.

The Jaguars waived Rourke before Week 15. Given that the New England Patriots have a priority in the waiver wire by virtue of having a worse record, Rourke was awarded to them. Now, Jacksonville will need to look for a quarterback to potentially back C.J. Beathard when they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 16.

The Jaguars will need to look for options at QB with Nathan Rourke no longer in the fold

With Trevor Lawrence in concussion protocol, and Nathan Rourke in Foxborough, the Jags could find themselves scrapping the bottom of the barrel to find another quarterback to dress in Week 16. It's not a given that Lawrence will sit out the bout but he won't suit up unless he's cleared, and he doesn't have a say in that decision.

One possibility could be Jake Luton, a sixth-round pick in 2020 who made a couple starts for Jacksonville as a rookie. Luton is currently in the Carolina Panthers' practice squad. An alternative would be E.J. Perry, who spent time with the Jaguars last year and is acquainted with the offense they run. Perry is currently a free agent.

Other options include veterans Colt McCoy and Cam Newton. Neither passer has spent time on an NFL roster this season but they both have ample experience, something that could come in handy during Lawrence's potential absence.

In the end, the Jaguars need to find a quarterback to back C.J. Beathard up in case Trevor Lawrence isn't good to go. With Nathan Rourke no longer an option, they'll need to dip their toes in the pool of quarterbacks available, which may not be particularly enticing at this stage of the regular season.

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