The deal appeared to be a favorable one for the Eagles. They got rid of Brown, who failed to live up to expectations, and reacquired Harrison, who did well last season as LeSean McCoy's backup.
Brown's days were numbered after he fumbled just shy of the goal line three weeks ago against the San Francisco 49ers. The former Dolphin had a run-pass option on the play, but tried to throw an ill-advised pass as he was being tackled. Brown, who has 13 carries for 38 yards this season, didn't see the football the next two games.
Harrison's tenure in Detroit mirrored that of Brown's. He has only 14 carries for 41 yards and didn't touch the ball in the Lions' last three games. Last season, after the Eagles acquired him in a midseason trade with the Browns, Harrison ran for 239 yards on 40 carries.
Now both tailbacks will awkwardly return to their respective teams. Neither can be traded now that the trade deadline has passed.
Brown lost his backup role to rookie Dion Lewis but will remain with the Eagles and resume his role as a reserve tailback, a team source said.
Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Jeff_McLane on Twitter.