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Keenum Excited for Border Battle Game, Bitter Cold Or Not

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. –Case Keenum is expecting an amped-up atmosphere for Saturday night's game at Lambeau Field.

"Playing at Lambeau in December, you know, a lot of important games have been played there, especially at this point in the season, and this is an important game, too," Keenum said. "I'm excited, I really am. I think it's going to be a great atmosphere – obviously a historic stadium, a really cool place. I've been there before, I haven't gotten to actually get plays there, but I'm excited to do that."

Fahrenheit temperatures Saturday night are threatening to dip into the negatives.

The coldest games Keenum have played in were back-to-back December trips to Seattle in 2015 and 2016, both of which were in the mid-30s at kickoff. The signal caller isn't intimidated by the harsh weather, though.

"I'm going to have a plan as far as what I'm going to wear, but other than that, it's football," Keenum said. "It's cold for everybody. So we've got to go out and execute.

"You still have to throw it and catch it, and they're still going to run their coverages," Keenum later said. "You just have to keep your hands as warm as you can. It's football. It's mechanics – throwing and catching, having good feet and making the right decisions."

When asked specifically if the cold could make it tougher to grip the ball or make deep throws, Keenum said it's hard to determine that ahead of time and added, "We'll see how it is when we get out there."

The Packers have been eliminated from the playoffs, but Keenum expects the division rivals to bring their best.

Linebackers Nick Perry and Clay Matthews are on Green Bay's injury report this week, and neither participated in practice on Wednesday, but Keenum said the Vikings need to prepare for the two talented players.

"We're expecting them to play. That's how we've got to [approach it] because they're great players," Keenum said. "We're going to be ready for them, we're going to be ready for whoever they put out there. It's a test.

"They have a lot of different guys who can play a lot of different positions," Keenum continued. "On the back end, you see guys lining up everywhere. So it's hard to get a [read] on what coverages or pressures they're bringing because they mix it up so much. We've got our work cut out for us identifying stuff, especially if there's some new faces in there."

This season marks Keenum's first in the NFC North division, but he's not unfamiliar with the Border Battle.

He helped lead Minnesota to a win over Green Bay in Week 6, and he emphasized that he understands the magnitude of the matchup.

"I know it's an NFC North game – it's an important one," Keenum said. "So yeah, I have a little bit of a feel. I obviously don't have the history that a lot of guys around here have with it, but I know the importance of it and know it's a big game."

Asked if he ever needs to work to keep his "excitable" nature in check, Keenum responded with a chuckle.

"Yeah, I get excited," Keenum said. "I mean, I'm playing a game. I'm playing football. I love to play, I love to score touchdowns, I love to run down the field, chasing guys running the ball. I think, yeah, there's a certain point where you need to be consistent, be the same guy all the time, but this is a game. I want to have fun, too."

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