Trusted NFL voice asks to pump the brakes on Jaguars QB Nathan Rourke

• Jaguars QB Nathan Rourke stood out vs. the Cowboys

• A veteran NFL writer puts Rourke's performance in context

Aug 12, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nathan Rourke (18).
Aug 12, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nathan Rourke (18). / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Third-string quarterback Nathan Rourke broke the internet when he showcased his escapability skills to connect with running back Qadree Ollison on a 21-yard touchdown pass against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1 of the preseason. Rourke's heroics probably helped him secure a roster spot on the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2023. However, talks about him displacing C.J. Beathard as QB2 on the depth chart are far-fetched, as Mike Tanier of The Messager recently noted.

Tanier took a look at some of the highlights in Week 1 of the preseason and explains why context matters when talking about Rourke's amazing play. For starters, Tanier points out that Rourke has ample experience, having played for the B.C. Lions in the CFL. Also, the Canada-born quarterback wasn't facing top competition.

"Rourke hails from British Columbia and started for the CLB's B.C. Lions in 2022. So he's not really a rookie. And Ben Banogu and Chauncy Golston, two of the defenders who fail to drag Rourke down, will never be mistaken for Micah Parsons and Tank Lawrence. Still, it's fun to imagine that Doug Pederson just happened to find another Ben Roethlisberger taking orders at a local Tim Horton's and it's not foolish to imagine that the CFL's reigning Most Outstanding Canadian (the coveted Beiber Trophy) could win a job as Trevor Lawrence's backup."

Tanier is right. Nobody will take away from Rourke how electrifying he was when he escaped the Cowboys' pass rush to complete a pass. And even if you take that play away, his final statline was pretty solid but he was facing Dallas' third-string defense and he won't be pulling off plays like that on a weekly basis.

The bottom line is that Rourke won't be challenging C.J. Beathard for the QB2 job, at least not now. Before the game, it was fair to wonder if the Jaguars would keep him around for the 2023 season, and it looks like the answer is yes after his performance against the Cowboys. However, there are still two preseason games left and he must show his Week 1 outing wasn't an outlier.

The Jaguars will probably keep Nathan Rourke, not just as QB2

Ideally, Trevor Lawrence won't have to miss a single snap in 2023 but if he does * knocks on wood * the Jaguars have C.J. Beathard ready to step in if needed. As a grizzled veteran, he doesn't need to get many reps in practice and could keep the offense afloat in case Lawrence has to miss a couple of games. But it wouldn't hurt to err on the side of caution and have Nathan Rourke around.

As the San Francisco 49ers attested in the NFC Championship game, you can quickly get outmatched if you don't have an emergency quarterback ready to go. In the Jaguars' case, losing both Lawrence and Beathard to injuries would be the worst-case scenario but giving Rourke a roster spot instead of a special teams player seems like a reasonable thing to do.

The fact that the Jaguars signed Rourke in January and haven't added any other quarterback since then shows they're high on him. It may also indicate that they've invested enough to make you think he'll be around for the 2023 season.

Maybe, just maybe, Rourke can turn into QB2 down the road but it certainly won't be this year. Making the Jaguars' roster and learning behind Trevor Lawrence and C.J. Beathard next season seem like more reasonable expectations. Also, Jacksonville surely hopes he never sets foot on the field because that would mean their top two quarterbacks aren't good to go.

Here are other recent Jaguars stories you might also like: