Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Terance Mathis will replace the injured Sterling Sharpe as a backup in this year's Pro Bowl, team officials said Thursday.

It will be Mathis' first Pro Bowl appearance, said Falcons spokesman Charlie Taylor. He joins linebacker Jessie Tuggle and cornerback Elbert Shelley as the NFC selections from Atlanta.The Green Bay Packers announced Wednesday that a neck injury would cut short Sharpe's season and possibly his career. He will undergo surgery to fuse the top two vertebrae in his neck. A seventh-year pro out of South Carolina, he is a five-time Pro Bowl selection.

Mathis, a fifth-year pro out of New Mexico, joined the Falcons this season as a free agent from the New York Jets. He had 111 catches for 1,342 yards and 11 touchdowns.