The Vikings lost eight fumbles in 18 games last season. They've lost a league-high seven in three games this season.
"We have to be cognizant of these [defenders] going for the rock because, right now, we do have a target on our back," said tight end T.J. Hockenson, who lost a fumble last Sunday in their loss to the Chargers. "That's just the facts of it. These guys are going to go for the ball and not be thinking about much else because we've shown on tape that we've put the ball on the ground."
Hockenson wasn't upset to hear coach Kevin O'Connell say on Monday that he'll make personnel changes if the turnovers don't stop. The coach said: "Either guys are going to do it, or we're going to have to put guys in the game that have ball security."
Six different players can take the blame for seven fumbles, including right guard Ed Ingram, who jarred the ball loose from quarterback Kirk Cousins. Carolina, the Vikings' opponent Sunday, ranks in the bottom third of the league for takeaways, but the team is looking for an internal fix.
"KO has the right to be firm with us," Hockenson said. "I don't think anyone in here faults him for coming at us in any type of way because that's what he's here to do, to push us as a team, as players, to make us a better unit."