Meet Nathan Rourke: The Canadian CFL Star With NFL Dreams

(Darryl Dyck/CP)

Meet Nathan Rourke: The Canadian CFL Star With NFL Dreams


Meet Nathan Rourke: The Canadian CFL Star With NFL Dreams


Rourke’s injury and NFL buzz

Rourke’s amazing season came to a crashing halt in week nine in their 28-10 road win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. In the fourth quarter, he suffered what appeared to be an injury to his ankle.

With the help of his teammates, Rourke was able to hobble off the field and was ruled out for the rest of the game. After the game on the following day, the Lions had to give the tough news in regards to Nathan Rourke. 

Rourke suffered a Lisfranc sprain injury to his right foot and underwent surgery. The Lions had optimistic hopes that Rourke could potentially return but head coach Rick Campbell didn’t seem too optimistic with this statement. “I’m not counting on it. I think that’s a bonus if that happens.” Campbell said to the Province. Lisfranc injuries vary between a sprain and a fracture. Rourke suffered a sprain to his foot, and the doctors recommended surgery as the best option for him. Fast forward to now and B.C. Lions co- general manager Neil McEvoy gave this encouraging update in regards to Rourke.

“Nathan, this weekend was throwing,” he told Taylor and Dhaliwal, a radio show in Canada. “It’s to the point now we might have to reign him back a little bit just because you don’t want him to get hurt or re-injured. From talking to Nathan, he believes he is going to be on-time, if not better.” The Lions would love to have Rourke back as they try to clinch a playoff berth, the team is talented but Rourke makes them a legitimate CFL contender.

As the CFL season is slowly winding down, there has been some buzz regarding Rourke and what could happen next. Rourke went undrafted coming out of college, went to the CFL and had a fantastic first half in his first season starting with the B.C. Lions. This has caused some speculation across the CFL that Rourke could potentially bolt to the NFL if a team were to express interest. TSN insider Farhan Lalji gave this interesting answer back in June regarding Rourke.

This means CFL fans should enjoy Rourke while he’s here because chances are he could be gone come next year. With the year that he has had, there is a legit chance that NFL teams will be interested in Rourke. While he is under contract with B.C. for another year, Rourke is still eligible to pursue NFL opportunities due to the CFL’s new NFL window that was implemented last year. If he is offered a contract by an NFL team, he can opt out of their current contract with the CFL by signing a document that has the following terms listed below.

I am aware that by opting out, I am not eligible to sign with any other CFL Club or in any other professional football league other than the NFL during the term of my SPC and should I wish to return to the CFL during the term of my SPC and I’m fit to play skilled football, I must return to [previous CFL team] and sign a new contract for the exact amounts and term of my previously terminated contract.”

In simple terms, if he is cut by an NFL team he will not be allowed to sign with another team in the CFL. Instead he will be able to come back to his original team on his contract. Rourke going to the NFL is a real possibility. Back in June Justin Dunk, an author for appeared on Sportsnet (A Canadian sports network in Canada) and discussed with Tim Micallef how the NFL was closely monitoring Rourke. “NFL people are intrigued. I believe if this continues to go along the way it is that he’s putting up crazy numbers but even if he dips a little bit that there will be NFL teams calling after the season.” Dunk said in his interview. 

So the interest was there going back to June. Rourke was snubbed by the NFL back when he was coming out of college but is a far better quarterback pre-injury then he was back then. BC Lions Co-General Manager Neil McEvoy gave this statement in regards to the future of his star quarterback in his interview with 3DownNation.

He knows that if an NFL team wants to give Rourke an opportunity, Rourke will take it. If Rourke chooses to go the NFL route, the CFL will be affected by this tremendously. Rourke being out for the season already affects the league, if he leaves there will be a huge gap to fill. 

How Rourke’s NFL Career could look like

Realistically, Rourke could be a low-end starter in the NFL. Out of the 32 NFL teams, Rourke could be a good fit for these four teams based on fit and timeline of the roster.

  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Washington Commanders
  • New York Giants

Rourke could potentially get a training camp roster invite and have a chance to make the official roster. If he misses the final 53 man roster initially, then he can sign to the practice squad. Maybe one day he could become the starter in a real NFL game. Rourke is young and with the right coaching and weapons placed around him he could be a backup on most teams. Rourke is talented and he has shown he can play in the CFL and he could potentially play in the NFL. Next season, if there is one player that could potentially make a training camp roster and make a name for himself, it’s Kid Canada himself Nathan Rourke. 


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