The Jacksonville Jaguars today activated offensive tackle Patrick Venzke from their practice squad and signed guard Tyrone Hopson and cornerback Damen Wheeler to the practice squad. Cornerback Earthwind Moreland was waived from the practice squad.
Venzke becomes the first German national to make an NFL active roster. Several other Germans have been on the practice squad in the NFL, however none have made it to the active roster. He was signed by the Jaguars as a rookie free agent in April 2001. Venzke started 42 of 44 games played at Idaho, and also was a coaching assistant and played on the practice squad for the Rhein Fire of the NFL Europe League.
Hopson, 6-2, 295, spent training camp in 2001 with San Francisco. He played in three games with one start in 2000 with the 49ers after spending time on the practice squad. A fifth round choice of the 49ers in the 1999 NFL Draft, he played in one game as a rookie and was inactive for five before being placed on injured reserve. He earned first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors at Eastern Kentucky.
Wheeler, 5-9, 179, was signed by the St. Louis Rams in May after starting ten games for the NY/NJ Hitmen of the XFL in the spring. He was a sixth round draft choice of the San Diego Chargers in 2000 before being waived in training camp. A three-time All-big 12 performer at Colorado, he ranks second in school history with 39 career passes defended.