Head coach Kevin O'Connell said Monday that the Vikings are going to fix their fumbling ways "one way or another" and will consider everything from changing the way they practice to changing who gets the ball.
"Either guys are going to do it," O'Connell said, "or we're going to have to put guys in the game that have ball security."
The Vikings have a league-worst seven lost fumbles through three games, including another during Sunday's 28-24 loss to the Chargers when tight end T.J. Hockenson had the ball ripped out of his hands in the first quarter. Six different players can take the blame for seven fumbles, including right guard Ed Ingram, who jarred the ball loose from quarterback Kirk Cousins.
O'Connell lamented the poor timing of Hockenson's fumble, which halted the momentum of an opening drive that was in Chargers territory. Running back Alexander Mattison, who had a fumble in a loss at Philadelphia, twice lost the ball Sunday, but he was ruled down once, and another time his forward progress was stopped.
"We need to end every snap with the football in our hands," O'Connell said. "That's going to be a continued urgency and emphasis, and we're going to continue to do it, do it differently and emphasize it different ways until that value is received. Because that is a losing formula."
The Vikings' minus-7 turnover differential is tied with the Raiders for the league's worst.
"I know I have great ball security," Mattison said Sunday. "It's just about being intentional every single play."
Bradbury 'feels stronger'
There's optimism that center Garrett Bradbury will return from a two-game absence when the Vikings travel to Carolina this weekend. Bradbury played seven snaps in the Sept. 10 loss to the Buccaneers before injuring his lower back — an area that cost him five games last season.
"He had a very good workweek last week and feels stronger," O'Connell said. "He's getting right there. We'll see how he goes through the week."
O'Connell was less optimistic about edge rusher Marcus Davenport's ankle injury, which kept him from practicing or playing last week. Davenport declined to comment Monday. The team expects cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. to play through a hip contusion suffered Sunday.
Safety Josh Metellus played 63 of 66 snaps against the Chargers through a shoulder injury suffered Sept. 14 in Philadelphia.
"Ultimate toughness to do what he did [Sunday]," O'Connell said. "We have to continue to try to get him recovered."
'I could be better'
The Chargers brought the action to Murphy after he wasn't targeted often during his first two Vikings games. Murphy drew a team-high 14 targets while manning the slot across from Keenan Allen, who had 18 grabs for 215 yards. Murphy was tabbed by Pro Football Focus as allowing 10 catches for 185 yards. Murphy was also credited with deflecting two passes and exchanging trash talk with Allen. The two were flagged for penalties on the same fourth-quarter drive.
"I could be better there," Murphy said. "He's definitely vocal. That was definitely fun. ... When he talks, I got to say something back."
• Coaches shortened the defensive rotations against the Chargers. Eight defenders played at least 89% of the snaps. For the first time this season, linebacker Brian Asamoah II did not play on defense.
• New running back Cam Akers, acquired via trade from the Rams last week, said Monday he's looking forward to a chance to revive his career. "The opportunity is there," he said. "It's presented itself. Now all I got to do is go make the most of it."
• Linebacker Troy Dye was fined $6,554 by the league for a helmet-to-helmet hit that wasn't flagged in the Vikings' loss in Philadelphia.