SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers' victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came with a price, as fullback Bruce Miller suffered a scapula injury that could end his season.

"Very significant (loss)," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday. "He does so many things in the protection, in the run game, receiving out of the backfield. ... It's a loss."

Harbaugh said the 49ers intend to bring in fullback Owen Marecic to see if he is the best option to fill the sizable void created by Miller's injury. The coach declined to give specifics on the injury Miller suffered Sunday after catching a pass near the sideline.

"I have a pretty good idea, but I won't say anything officially," Harbaugh said of how much time Miller is expected to miss. "It doesn't look good."

The 49ers have two games left and are in line to make the playoffs for the third consecutive season. They probably will forge on without Miller, a key blocker, receiver and short-yardage back.

Marecic was with the 49ers earlier this season, though he didn't play in the regular season. He was released in early October.

Marecic played in 24 games for the Cleveland Browns in 2011-12. He also played for Harbaugh at Stanford.

  • Barring a collapse by the Seattle Seahawks or some unlikely outcomes in the playoffs, the 49ers' final game at Candlestick Park will be Monday night against the Atlanta Falcons.

    The 49ers would need to win their final two games and would need the Seahawks to lose their final two to capture the NFC West and be assured of at least one home game in the playoffs.

    The 49ers will move to their new stadium in Santa Clara next season.

    Given that, Harbaugh said he and everyone else employed by the team are hellbent upon going out with a victory.

    "It's the last game at Candlestick, and we don't want to be the guys that screw up the last game at Candlestick," Harbaugh said. "These guys will come back 20-25 years from now, and they want to have a good memory of winning at Candlestick."

    Harbaugh said he first attended a game at Candlestick Park when he was 16 and his father coached at Stanford.

    "I remember sitting there (and thinking), 'It's not this cold back in Michigan.' We had just moved to California," Harbaugh said. "They said it was going to be cold. They had us kids in our warm jackets, but it was still cold."

    Harbaugh also recalled his first game at Candlestick Park as a player, when he was a backup quarterback for the Chicago Bears as a rookie in 1987.

    "We got beat," Harbaugh said. "We got beat pretty bad. ... The starter threw like three, maybe four interceptions in the first half, and they inserted me in the second half. We didn't win the game."

  • Running back Frank Gore emerged from the Buccaneers game in fine shape, Harbaugh said, despite getting banged up late.

    Gore rushed for 86 yards Sunday and surpassed 1,000 for the seventh time in his nine-year career. It is a career, Harbaugh said, destined to culminate with Gore's induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    "Yes, I truly believe that," Harbaugh said.

  • Cornerback Tarell Brown played more than half the defensive snaps against the Buccaneers, and he held up fine, Harbaugh said.

    Brown played for the first time since he suffered an injury to his ribs against the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 17.

    "He was another guy that came in there and contributed right away," Harbaugh said. "There was no rust factor, and he did a lot of good things."

  • Cornerback Michael Thomas went from the 49ers practice squad to a starring role for the Miami Dolphins in less than a week.

    Thomas broke up a potential winning touchdown pass by New England's Tom Brady and made a game-clinching interception in the end zone.

    "It brought a smile to everybody's face as soon as we started seeing the highlights on the plane," said Harbaugh, who also coached Thomas at Stanford.

    For more on the 49ers, see Cam Inman's Hot Read blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/49ers.

    monday's game
    Atlanta (4-10) at 49ers (10-4), 5:40 p.m., ESPN, KPIX