Yes, it could. It's good that some protection switch/interlock was saving you from extensive damage, so that may have saved you.
What normally happens is the pump/circulator transfers the electrical energy to rotating mechanical energy which is then absorbed into the water and life is good. However, in your case where you were dead-heading on the valve, the water couldn't dissipate the energy transferred to the water via circulation so it builds up in a thermal manner, so the pump/circulator could have burned up.
Depending on what kind of pump/circulator you have, if you run it and it sounds like there are loose parts ("marbles") during operation, then you've killed it. Otherwise, you may have shortened the life of the pump/circulator, or you got lucky and the interlock that protected you from operating in a dead-head case caught you before you damaged the pump.