ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. >> Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is heading to his first Pro Bowl in place of injured San Francisco 49ers lineman Justin Smith.
Dareus gets the nod after the Bills’ 2011 first-round draft pick finished with 7 1/2 sacks and 71 tackles, both career highs. He was one of five players to finish with at least that many in each category this season.
Dareus will join three defensive teammates already selected to play on Sunday. They are end Mario Williams, tackle Kyle Williams and safety Jairus Byrd.
Smith has been bothered by a shoulder injury and is coming off the 49ers’ 23-17 loss to Seattle in the NFC championship game on Sunday.