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2011 NFL Trade Rumors: Peyton Hillis Shrouded In Mystery, But It Doesn't Mean Trade Imminent

There's a lot of mystery surrounding Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis, but that doesn't mean you should be thinking about the possibility of a trade before Tuesday's 4:00 p.m. eastern time deadline. No, it's just not likely that the bruising back is on the trade block, there just happens to be a lot of weird stuff happening with him, most of which has any significant buildup to a likely trade.

But it's still worth noting. First, you had all of that talk about the game he missed earlier in the season with strep throat, coupled with the negative contract negotiations and the low yards-per-carry totals. That's been documented. Now we head to Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders, where Hillis was injured and is now confirmed to have suffered a hamstring injury.

Apparently, he was injured in the first quarter ... or maybe it was the second or the third one. Surely not the fourth? Whatever the case, he was hurt - but the broadcast booth hadn't been made aware of this, so they spent a good amount of time rambling on about Hillis potentially being benched in such a big game.

Head coach Pat Shurmur didn't really help all of these allegations, but he did note that Hillis had been injured and was only to be used in emergency situations. So naturally, Hillis trotted out there in the fourth quarter for no reason other than that he was bored, apparently, because he was in on blitz pickup. Shurmur initially would say that Hillis went out there on his own.

He eventually retracted this statement and said that Cleveland coaches sent him out there, and explained away the fact that press hadn't been notified of an injury by saying the press box really was no concern of his. So while Shurmur is perfectly agreeable, albeit confusing, it's still an odd position the Browns running back finds himself in, especially with the bad numbers and the stalled contract talks.

Would it be surprising if he was traded on Tuesday? Yes, but it wouldn't be the craziest trade we've ever seen, especially with Chris Mortensen mentioning that the Browns could probably be persuaded - but none of the oddities that occurred on Sunday will contribute to the likelihood.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.