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Rams place LT Andrew Whitworth on reserve/COVID-19 list, activate RB Cam Akers from injured reserve

Matthew Stafford will likely be without his blindside blocker Sunday in Minneapolis but could soon see the return of an important ball-carrier.

The Los Angeles Rams placed left tackle Andrew Whitworth on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, one day before L.A. is slated to take on the Vikings. L.A. also activated running back Cam Akers off injured reserve, less than a week after designating him to return.

Whitworth's availability for Sunday's game is unclear. If he tested positive for COVID-19 but is fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, the left tackle would need two negative tests within a 24-hour span to be cleared for a return.

Akers will not travel with the team to Minnesota. He is just five months removed from a serious Achilles injury,

The 40-year-old Whitworth sat out practice on Thursday and Friday. Los Angeles said his absences were not injury related and the team was just resting the veteran tackle.

Whitworth joins fellow left tackle Joe Noteboom on the COVID-19 list. They are the only two Rams from the active roster on what was just a week ago a heavily populated reserve list. L.A.'s Week 15 game against the Seattle Seahawks had to be moved from Sunday to Tuesday because of a COVID-19 outbreak among Rams players that sidelined the likes of Jalen Ramsey, Odell Beckham and Von Miller.

The 10-4 Rams are tied with the Arizona Cardinals for the NFC West lead. With a win over or a tie with the Vikings, L.A. can clinch at least a playoff berth. A win plus a Cardinals loss Saturday night would catapult the Rams to the top of the division with two to play.

It appears, however, L.A. will attempt to improve its playoff positioning this weekend without its most senior player and a still-healing offensive talent.

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