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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

49ers-Packers prep Thursday: Kittle calls Lambeau aura ‘a dream come true’

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers moved practice later, closer to Saturday’s 5:15 p.m. PT start, and they worked out of their usual training grounds under the lights of Levi’s Stadium.

However, nothing can repeat what awaits them in Green Bay.

“The Lambo is going to be amazing,” tight end George Kittle said. “Historic stadium. Haven’t played there since 2018. Very happy to go there.

“This is truly a dream come true so looking forward to playing playoff night at Lambeau, 0 degrees. I mean, what more could you want?”

Well, obviously an embarrassing win is on the wish list for the 49ers, who have won back-to-back knockout games and will then try to upset the top-seeded Packers on their home tundra.

Jimmy Garoppolo looks set to make his debut at Lambo Field. On Wednesday, he was training due to shoulder and thumb injuries, throwing with a zip and showing no signs of pain. He’s just as excited as his teammates about what’s next.

The 49ers can’t afford to be overwhelmed by the iconic scene. Their 2013 team was definitely not going to win in Lambo (5 degrees at the start of the match).

Winning indoors in the climate controlled conditions of Los Angeles and Dallas should actually have some carryover effect. He introduced high-stakes football to players who were not on the 2019 49ers Super Bowl team, such as running back Elijah Mitchell and wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings.

“I didn’t see anyone wince,” Kittle added.

Ayuk, a 2020 first-round pick, admitted the atmosphere at AT&T Stadium was amazing, as was the week leading up to his 23-17 playoff debut.

Wide receivers coach Wes Welker briefed Aiyuk and others this week on what to expect at the venerable Lambo Field, which opened in 1957. Adding to Aiyuk’s “amazing” expectations is the rivalry between the 49ers and Packers and the challenge facing reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers. .

“We already know that the atmosphere will be very exciting. But football is football,” said Aiyuk. “I have not yet gone to the stadium where I was amazed. But I look around, take it all in, and worry. I stay where my feet are, look around, enjoy it and just go play football.”

Kittle recommends playing rather than sitting on a heated bench to overcome projected single-digit temperatures and sub-zero winds. Kittle recalled playing in sub-zero conditions at Iowa, shivering on the touchline like a skinny freshman without a coat or long sleeves, “trembling, not trying to get frostbite.”

“If you’re on the field, you warm up pretty quickly,” Kittle added.

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