With quarterback Sam Bradford limited in practice all week with a knee injury, the Vikings offense knew there was a chance Case Keenum would fill in Sunday in Pittsburgh.
As a result, Minnesota didn't use the change in signal-caller as an excuse after the Vikings fell 26-9 to the Steelers to drop to 1-1 on the young season.
"That's just the game," said Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen. "We knew this week that there was a chance that it might happen, so we had to prepare for both guys."
Added Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer: "We knew there was a possibility this would happen. There's no excuses. We're not going to make any excuses for what happened today. We're going to move forward and go on."
Making his 25th career start and first with the Vikings, Keenum completed 20 of 37 passes for 167 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.
Keenum, who signed with Minnesota this offseason as a free agent, said he found out Sunday morning that he was getting the starting nod.
"I was excited. They told me this morning in the locker room. That's why I'm here. It's what I do," Keenum said. "I prepare every week as if I'm playing and starting. I was ready to go."
Keenum said he expected more of himself after compiling a passer rating of 65.9.
"I'm disappointed. I'm a competitor," Keenum said. "I like to win, and any time we don't, I take it really hard.
"I want to fight for those guys in that locker room, and I feel like I can play better," Kenum added. "I feel like we showed some good things but obviously didn't get off to a great start and shot ourselves in the foot quite a few times. When other things aren't clicking, that's unfortunate."
The Vikings offense racked up 237 yards of total offense Sunday against the Steelers but Minnesota was hampered by 11 total penalties for 131 yards.
Both Keenum and his receivers said the offensive miscues hurt the flow of the game, especially in a hostile environment.
"That puts us behind the sticks, and any time you're in first-and-long, second-and-long, third-and-long, that's not where you want to be," Keenum said.
Added wide receiver Stefon Diggs: "You can't win games that way. There's no way we can win beating ourselves. We'll try to correct it, next game is an opportunity."
Perhaps Minnesota's best sequence on offense came early in the second half after Keenum led the Vikings on a six-play, 82-yard scoring drive. The Vikings had 67 yards of offense in the first half
Keenum said a change of pace helped Minnesota get in the end zone for their lone touchdown of the day.
"One of them was the tempo. I think we got in and out of the huddle a little faster and ran some plays on the line, mixed it up," Keenum said. "My guys fought, the O-line fought.
"I trust every one of those guys in the locker room and on the offensive side of the ball," Keenum added. "I thought the offensive line did a great job … but we did not do enough."
It remains to be seen whether or not Bradford returns for Minnesota's Week 3 home matchup against Tampa Bay. Zimmer said he expects Bradford to be OK going forward.
Diggs said the Vikings offense will be prepared for either quarterback to play.
"I've got 100 percent faith in Case or whoever is back there throwing the ball," Diggs said.