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Week 17 injuries that will affect the NFL playoff race

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson suffered a lower back injury in Week 17. Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports

Injuries to watch in the playoffs

Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings: For the second time in three weeks, Peterson went to the locker room with an injury. In Week 15, it was Peterson's ankle; on Sunday, the running back suffered a lower back injury on a three-yard run with 7:55 remaining in the third quarter. Peterson went to the locker room for further evaluation shortly thereafter, and the team listed him as questionable to return. He did not come back out onto the field until right before the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter. Peterson said after the game that he would play against Seattle on Sunday.

DeAngelo Williams, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Williams was carted off the field at the beginning of the second quarter after his ankle was rolled up on. He appeared to be in immediate pain. ESPN Steelers reporter Jeremy Fowler said Williams looked to be moving fine when he returned to the sideline, but the Steelers downgraded him to out. Fowler reported that Williams left the locker room wearing a protective boot. If Williams is unable to go in next week's wild-card round, second-year RB Fitzgerald Toussaint will serve as his replacement.

DeMarcus Ware, DE, Denver Broncos: Ware has battled a back injury in the second half of the season, but on Sunday, it was his left knee that acted up. He went down with 10 minutes left in the third quarter, and was initially listed as questionable to return by the Broncos. He could be seen sitting on the sideline with his knee wrapped late in the game, as the Broncos clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Ware ranks second on the team with 7.5 sacks this season.

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Kansas City Chiefs: Maclin was taken to the locker room late in the third quarter after falling hard on a deep target from Alex Smith. The team called it a hip injury, and the WR returned to the game in the fourth quarter. Maclin, the Chiefs' most potent weapon in the pass game, leads the team with 87 catches, 1,088 yards and 8 TDs.

Charles Tillman, CB, Carolina Panthers: Tillman left the Panthers' blowout win over the Buccaneers with a right knee injury. He was examined for a while on the trainer's table, and according to ESPN Panthers reporter David Newton, the CB appeared to be walking OK. Tillman missed four games (Weeks 11-14) with a hyperextended knee.

Duane Brown, LT, Houston Texans: Brown suffered a gruesome-looking right leg injury toward the end of the first quarter Sunday. The entire Houston bench emptied to show support for Brown as the longtime Texan was being fitted for an air cast. According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, Brown suffered a torn tendon in his right quad. The left tackle entered Week 17 having played 7,541 offensive snaps since 2008, tied for sixth most among primary offensive linemen, according to ESPN Stats & Information. ESPN Texans reporter Tania Ganguli said Brown had tears in his eyes as he was taken off the field. Houston will turn to Chris Clark, who has been the team's swing tackle, against a Chiefs defense that ranked fourth overall with 47 sacks this season.

Darian Stewart, S, Denver Broncos: Stewart missed the Broncos' Week 16 game with a hamstring injury, so it was concerning when he appeared to be in pain limping off the field late in the first quarter on Sunday. The team announced that Stewart did indeed have a hamstring injury and downgraded him from questionable to out in the third quarter. He'll have two weeks to heal up before the Broncos' divisional-round matchup.

Jeremy Lane, CB, Seattle Seahawks: Lane intercepted Cardinals QB Carson Palmer in the first quarter, but missed the second half of Sunday's game with a rib injury. He has two picks on the year, and is an integral part of a resurgent Seahawks defense that has propelled Seattle to a 6-1 record down the stretch.

Nate Washington, WR, Houston Texans: The Texans ruled Washington out with a hip injury in the third quarter after trainers were seen working on the receiver on the sideline. Washington, who battled hip issues earlier this season, is the Texans' second-leading receiver with 46 catches, 652 yards and four touchdowns.

Mitch Morse, C, Kansas City Chiefs: Morse -- who has been a crucial cog in the Chiefs' improved blocking this season -- left the game late in the fourth quarter as he was evaluated for a concussion. The rookie has started all 15 games he has played in this season.

Dashaun Phillips, CB, Washington Redskins: Phillips was taken off the field on a stretcher after a scary helmet-to-helmet collision with Cowboys RB Darren McFadden in the second quarter. He was transported to a local hospital, and the team said he had movement in his extremities. Phillips had been a good contributor on special teams this season for the Redskins.

Other notable injuries to non-playoff teams

Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, New York Jets: Wilkerson needed assistance as he limped off the field in the third quarter on Sunday against the Bills. Wilkerson -- who entered Week 17 with seven more sacks than any of his teammates -- broke his right leg as he was making a tackle on Bills RB Boobie Dixon. Wilkerson, who's a free agent this offseason, will likely have surgery, according to ESPN Jets reporter Rich Cimini.

Malcom Floyd, WR, San Diego Chargers: Floyd -- who has been open about this being his last season -- battled back from a shoulder injury earlier this year because he didn't want his career to end on a low note. On Sunday against the Broncos, Floyd hit his head against the turf and suffered a concussion. The team ruled him out for the remainder of the game, effectively ending the WR's 12-year career.

Karlos Williams, RB, Buffalo Bills: Williams was filling in for injured starter LeSean McCoy on Sunday, before suffering a knee injury on a 2-yard touchdown run toward the beginning of the second quarter. He was ruled out for the remainder of the game.

Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Moncrief exited the Colts' game on Sunday with a toe injury and did not return. The Colts' No. 2 WR was on the injury report this week with a toe issue, so it's possible Moncrief reaggravated that injury against the Titans.