SANTA CLARA – George Kittle had fun, but that’s not saying too much. He seems to always finds a way to have fun.

Kittle and wide receiver Trent Taylor watched the 49ers’ third preseason game from the tight end's couch while most of their teammates were in Kansas City on Saturday night. With the 49ers' offensive call sheets in hand, they were able to recognize the formations and identify the plays before the snap.

“That’s a really weird experience, and I don’t want to do that again,” Kittle said. “That was different. It was so much fun. Trent and I both jumped off the couch a couple of different times.”

They rose to their feet as Richie James caught a deep pass from Jimmy Garoppolo and, again, when Matt Breida made a diving touchdown catch. Kittle, who said he always isolates on the tight ends, got especially fired up to see Ross Dwelley upend Kansas City pass-rusher Frank Clark with a block.

Kittle missed the past two weeks of practices with a calf injury. He returned to the field on Monday. Taylor continues to recover following surgery three weeks ago to repair a fracture in his right foot.

“I would’ve played two weeks ago,” Kittle said. “They were just being cautious. They didn’t want something small to lead to something that’s a big thing. ... I tried to play through it. They wouldn’t let me.”

Kittle set an NFL record with 1,377 receiving yards from a tight end last season. After sitting out the first preseason game with most of the 49ers’ starters, Kittle was held out of the past two games with the calf condition.


He is not expected to play Thursday against the Los Angeles Chargers, either.

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“Thankfully, I’m in a position where I didn’t have to go through it and push it to the point where I could’ve made it worse,” Kittle said. “But I’m happy to be back in the huddle and just trying to get better for Tampa.”

The 49ers open the regular season on Sept. 8 at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.