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Bill Belichick explains why Patriots claimed new QB Nathan Rourke



FOXBORO — The Patriots needed depth at quarterback after losing quarterbacks off of their practice squad in consecutive weeks, so they used their 3-11 record to their advantage.


The Patriots claimed quarterback Nathan Rourke

off waivers from the Jaguars on Monday. The 8-6 Texans also put in a claim for Rourke, per ESPN,

but the Patriots had a higher waiver priority because of their record.


The Ravens signed quarterback Malik Cunningham off of the Patriots’ practice squad and onto their 53-man roster last week.

The Chargers signed QB Will Grier off of the Patriots’ practice squad and onto their 53-man roster Monday morning.


“Yeah, just the depth at that position,” Belichick said Wednesday when asked why the Patriots wanted to work with Rourke.

“So, when you only have two quarter backs on the roster,

guy sprains his ankle you’re down to putting a receiver or running back or somebody at quarterback.

But he was productive in preseason and Canada.”


Rourke was born in Victoria, British Columbia, and played one year of high school football in the United States in Alabama.

He began his college career at Fort Scott (Kansas) Community College before transferring to Ohio, where he was a three-year starter.


Rourke went undrafted in the 2020 NFL Draft but was a second-round pick in the 2020 CFL Draft.

He spent three years with the BC Lions before signing with the Jaguars in January.


He began the 2023 season on the practice squad but was signed to the 53-man roster in October. He was waived Dec. 16.


Rourke was productive as a passer and runner in college, in the CFL and in the preseason.

He rushed for over 3,000 yards with 49 touchdowns in college while tossing 60 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

He completed 78.7 percent of his passes in the CFL in 2022 while winning the CFL Most Outstanding Canadian Award

. In the preseason, Rourke went 23-of-35 for 348 yards with one touchdown in three preseason games this summer.


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