NFL news: NFL trade deadline passes and more

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

There usually isn't a lot of action at the trade NFL trade deadline, and despite rumors, that proved to be the case again this season.

First, it was the Seattle Seahawks reportedly trying to work out a trade for Jared Allen. Later, the Denver Broncos were the ones making a run at the Minnesota defensive end. In the end Allen, like most of the players mentioned in trade rumors, stayed put.

There was a lot of smoke during the final few hours before the trade deadline, but very little fire. Philadelphia traded defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga to New England in the only deal of the afternoon. The Eagles sent Sopoaga and a sixth-round pick to the Patriots for a fifth-round pick.

Cleveland's Josh Gordon and New York's Hakeem Nicks have been the subject of trade rumors for weeks, but both will remain with their teams through at least this season. Kenny Britt, Tony Gonzalez and Jairus Byrd are also staying put despite having their names floated in rumors.

Dez Bryant's outburst not what it seemed

Dez Bryant took a lot of criticism for his outburst on the sidelines, but as it turns out, despite his body language, Bryant was conveying a positive message. Cameras caught Bryant animated on the sidelines, talking to Tony Romo and coaches. released mic'd up video of the situation.

Instead of being critical, Bryant was reiterating the positives of what the Cowboys do. The Lions played Bryant in one-on-one man coverage on one play and Bryant's animated message was more about the success he and Romo could have in that situation rather than criticizing the quarterback for not taking advantage.

"If they press me, it's over! It's over!" Bryant says to Romo in the video. "We're good on that, Tony! We're the best in the NFL at that!  We're the best in the NFL."

Bryant appeared to get into a heated argument with tight end Jason Witten later in the game, but that situation was not included in the video.

Percy Harvin's hip injury flared up

There was some speculation early last week that Percy Harvin could make his 2013 debut on Monday against St. Louis. That didn't end up happening, and part of the reason was because Harvin's hip injury flared up on Thursday. The 25-year-old returned to practice for the first time last week. He participated on Tuesday and Thursday before being held out on the final two practices of the week.

Harvin hasn't had any major setbacks in his recovery from hip surgery. The latest situation doesn't appear to be a significant setback, but the Seahawks are taking extreme caution with their No. 1 receiver. According to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports, Harvin received treatment over the weekend and will attempt to return to practice this week. If he completes a full week of practice without incident, there is a chance he could be activated for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.

Jay Cutler will miss at least three more weeks

Jay Cutler is making positive progress in his return from a groin injury, but the Bears quarterback is expected to miss at least three more weeks. Cutler was injured in Week 7 with an initial timeline of four to six weeks for his return. The Bears were off on a bye week last week.

If Cutler misses three more games, he could still return on the low end of the initial timeline. He will, however, miss a pair of key NFC North games. The Bears travel to Green Bay this week before hosting the Detroit Lions next week. Chicago is currently a game behind Green Bay in the division race. Josh McCown will start in Cutler's place.

Brian Waters expected to miss the rest of the season

The Cowboys suffered a last-second loss to Detroit on Sunday, and in the process, Dallas also lost starting guard Brian Waters. Waters tore his triceps and will likely miss the rest of the season. After signing late in the offseason, Waters played well for Dallas.

While the injury will likely end his season, it could also mark the end of Waters' NFL career. The 36-year-old is in his 13th NFL season and nearly retired last offseason. Mackenzy Bernadeau will step in for Waters, a potential dicey situation, according to Dave Halprin of Blogging the Boys:

Waters brought a ton of ability and experience to a Cowboys offensive line that is definitely improved this year. Mackenzy Bernadeau will be the guy filling in for Waters for the rest of the season. That's scary.

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Takeaways: Contenders emerge at season's midpoint

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