FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced that they have claimed QB Nathan Rourke off waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars and signed RB Kevin Harris to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. In addition, the Patriots placed CB J.C. Jackson on the reserve/non-football illness list and signed DB William Hooper and RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn (pronounced – KEY-shawn) to the practice squad.
Rourke, 25, spent two seasons (2021-22) playing for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League after his collegiate career at Ohio. The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder, played in 23 games for the BC Lions and completed 307-of-406 passes for 4,103 yards with 28 touchdowns. He signed a future contract with Jacksonville on Jan. 16, 2023 and began the season on the practice squad before two stints on the 53-man roster. He was released by Jacksonville on Dec. 16, 2023.
Harris, 23, was drafted by New England in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft (183rd overall) out of South Carolina. The 5-foot-10, 225-pounder, began the season on the practice squad before being signed to the 53-man roster on Oct. 13. He played in five games with one start last year and recorded 18 carries for 52 yards with one touchdown. Harris was released at the end of training camp this past summer and was signed to the practice squad. He was elevated for the last two weeks and saw his first action of the year vs. Kansas City last Sunday, scoring on an 18-yard touchdown run.
Hooper, 23, is re-joining the New England practice squad after being signed on Sept. 13 and released on Sept. 26. He was originally signed by Green Bay as a rookie free agent out of Northwestern State on May 5, 2023. The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder, was released by Green Bay on Aug. 29, 2023. After being released by New England, Hooper spent time on the Arizona practice squad before being released on Dec. 12. He appeared in 46 games with 33 starts during his five collegiate seasons, posting 100 total tackles, three interceptions and 21 passes defensed.
Vaughn, 26, originally entered the NFL as a third-round draft pick (76th overall) by Tampa Bay out of Vanderbilt. The 5-foot-10, 214-pounder, has played in 43 regular season games and has 13 rushing attempts for 384 yards with two touchdowns and 14 receptions for 81 yards with one touchdown. He has also played in four postseason games, including the Buccaneers' Super Bowl LV win, and has 22 rushing attempts for 74 yards and two receptions for nine yards. Vaughn played in six games in 2023 for Tampa Bay before being released on Dec. 15.