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Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

“We are excited to have our fans back”: 49ers tight end George Kittle on facing the Packers at Levi’s Stadium

Sep 23, 2021 at 5:05 PM

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Local fans of the San Francisco 49ers finally have something to cheer for as their team will play in a packed Levi's Stadium for the first time in just over 20 months. Coincidentally, the Niners will face the Green Bay Packers, the same team they last faced at the stadium in front of thousands of fans in the NFC Championship Game. That game ended with a blowout in the Niners' favor, 37-20, and the team will look to continue this success on this upcoming Sunday night.

The Niners as a whole seem to be excited to play a prime time game in front of their fans, and star tight end George Kittle, for one, is as excited as can be.

Kittle had this to say on Thursday about the opportunity to play the Packers in front of The Faithful after an extended hiatus: "I mean it was awesome, the NFC Championship Game. Our stadium was wild, it was rocking. I think we have incredible fans that travel anywhere they are allowed to go and pack our home stadium to the max. I'm just really excited that their first experience back at Levi's [Stadium] is going to be a night game. I know they are going to bring it and we are going to play at our highest level for them because they haven't been there since 2020. It's just been a minute. So we miss them and we know they miss us so we are excited to have our fans back."

Another exciting aspect of the new 2021 season for Kittle is the new set of COVID-19 protocols, affording more face-to-face interaction between players off the field.

Said Kittle, "Just being in the same room as your guys is a huge difference. Our tight end room is a close-knit group and the fact that we had to meet in our hotel rooms last year for the last six weeks of the season on a zoom call, there's just not a lot of love or emotion in there. In football, you['ve] got to have some of that emotion, that passion. You've got to love the guys you're working with and I know it's really difficult when you can't sit in a room with those guys and whether you're watching film or just BSing, just having a good time, it makes it more of a business. It takes the football out of it."

The 49ers' tight end has had a solid start to the season so far, even though the raw production numbers might say otherwise. Coach Kyle Shanahan has mostly featured Kittle in the blocking game, and the more conservative offense to start the season hasn't afforded him the touches that he used to get in years prior.

Over the first two games of the season, Kittle has received just 9 targets and put up 95 yards, a bit underwhelming from the receiving aspect. "The People's Tight End" will look to turn it around in front of a roaring Levi's Stadium crowd.
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