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Giants' Smith replacing Fitzgerald in Pro Bowl

New York Giants' Steve Smith (12) stiff arms

New York Giants' Steve Smith (12) stiff arms Dallas Cowboys' Gerald Sensabaugh (43) after a big gain in the third quarter at Giants Stadium. (December 6, 2009) Credit: John Dunn

Now Steve Smith doesn't have to root for the Vikings.

That was to be the way for the Giants' receiver to make the Pro Bowl: Have the Vikings advance to the Super Bowl and their receiver Sidney Rice would have to relinquish his roster spot on the NFC team. But now Smith, a first-alternate, will be on the squad no matter what happens on Sunday.

Smith will replace Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald, who pulled out Wednesday with an injury, making him the first Giant since Homer Jones in 1968 to make the Pro Bowl as a receiver.

"I realize how significant it is at the position I play, by being the first Giants wide receiver to be named to the Pro Bowl in such a long time," Smith said. "I plan to represent my teammates, my coaches and the entire Giants organization well, because I know I would not have made it without their support."

Smith set a franchise record with 107 receptions for 1,220 yards in 2009, his third year in the NFL.

He'll be joined at the Pro Bowl by center Shaun O'Hara, who was named to the original roster. Guard Chris Snee and tackle David Diehl will also be there, but have not officially been added to the roster. As first alternates they'll take the place of a duo from either the Vikings or the Saints, depending on the outcome of Sunday's NFC title game.

"It's a little bittersweet, because obviously I wish I was playing in the game a week after the Pro Bowl," Smith said. "But I know my teammates and I will work hard this offseason to put ourselves in position for a much better 2010 Giants season."

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