Former Gustavus football standout Ryan Hoag has been moved from the practice squad to the National Football League roster of the Minnesota Vikings. Hoag, who is in his second year in the NFL, has been on the Vikings practice squad for the past five weeks.
Hoag’s professional career started last year when he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the seventh round. He was cut by the Raiders during training camp and then accepted an offer to join the New York Giants practice squad midway through last season. He signed a contract for this season with the Giants but was cut when he suffered a hand injury in mini-camp this past June.
After getting a chance to work out for the Vikings in July, Hoag was offered an opportunity to come to training camp with the Vikings. He played in every pre-season game, although he did not see much playing time. Most of his playing time was on special teams returning punts and kicks. Hoag was released in the final cut in late August and then signed to the practice squad several days later. He has been practicing with the team but not playing in games through the first five weeks of the season. A wide receiver, Ryan is being added to the roster to replace wide receiver/kick returner Keenan Howry who suffered a shoulder injury. Hoag, who wore #7 in the pre-season, has been assigned #18 due to the fact that kicker Morten Andersen is wearing #7.
Hoag stays in close contact with the staff and players at Gustavus. He was on the sidelines for the Gusties recent game with Concordia since it was the same time as the bye week for the Vikings. When he gets in to his first game with the Vikings, Ryan will become the first Gustavus player to play in the NFL since defensive tackle Kurt Ploeger played for the Minnesota Vikings in 1987. Ploeger, who was drafted in the sixth round by the Dallas Cowboys in 1985, played three years in the NFL with Dallas, Buffalo, Green Bay and Minnesota.