RB Cam Akers 'more than likely' to be inactive vs. Chargers

EAGAN, Minn. -- New Minnesota Vikings tailback Cam Akers is "more than likely" to be inactive for his first game with the team Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers, coach Kevin O'Connell said Friday.

The Vikings acquired Akers late Wednesday afternoon from the Los Angeles Rams in an exchange of 2026 draft picks. He passed his physical Thursday morning and practiced Thursday and Friday in an offensive scheme that is modeled after the Rams'.

"I know he's really excited to be here, and he'll work toward potentially being a part of what we do next week, but it's a little too soon to ask him to go this week," O'Connell said.

Vikings offensive coordinator Wes Phillips said Thursday the team has not lost confidence in starter Alexander Mattison, who has managed only 62 rushing yards on 19 carries in his first two games after being promoted to replace longtime starter Dalvin Cook.

Speaking Friday for the first time since the trade was completed, O'Connell said he spoke with Mattison and reassured him that Akers' arrival will not impact his role.

"I told Alex nothing changes for him," O'Connell said. "The feelings I've had about Alex and his role for us still all feel the same. There's a thousand things that we can all do to improve our run game, but as far as Alex Mattison goes, he's our lead back and continue to want to build things around him."

O'Connell and Phillips both coached Akers when they were Rams assistant coaches from 2020 to 2021, and the running back said he feels like he already knows 90% of the Vikings' playbook.

"Hopefully I can come in and step right in and do my part," Akers said. "The situation is pretty much perfect."