Horton feels good on ice nearly year after concussion

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Horton feels good on ice nearly year after concussion

It was a welcomed sight to have Nathan Horton skating with his Bruins teammates last week when things moved to Ristuccia Arena. It was an encouraging sight when Horton mixed it up with his Bruins teammates in contact drills around the net during their first training camp practice at TD Garden on Sunday afternoon.

There was no hesitation or backing for the 27-year-old Horton, who is now almost a year removed from the Jan. 22 concussion that ended the 2011-12 season for him after Tom Sestito clipped him with a blindside hit. The Bruins right wing might have been a little rusty given that its been nearly a calendar year since hes played in a game, but he looked pretty comfortable skating with normal linemates David Krejci and Milan Lucic.

Both wingers acknowledged they have some work to do, however, as neither Lucic nor Horton played in any games during the 119-day lockout. So theyre essentially playing catch up with Krejci, who produced at a high offensive level for his Pardubice club in the Czech League.

I was really excited. I felt really good. Weve still got a lot of work to do, but you just keep pressing forward to get yourself in the best shape you can, said Horton, who missed the final 36 regular season games last year. Its a short week so you cant go out and kill yourself in practice. Once you drop the puck for the games you need to get it going. Every game is going to mean something.

Ive been waiting a long time to get into contact drills and I felt good out there. Its just nice to be back and be able to do that.

One of the few upsides to the NHL lockout was the rest time it gave to injured players working their way back. Though Horton would have been cleared to play in September had there been no work stoppage, the extra time gave the 6-foot-2, 229-pounder even more peace of mind that any concussion issues are in the rear view mirror.

So now the Bruins management team and coaching staff will be anxious to see what Horton can bring them as he approaches unrestricted free agency following the shortened 2013 season.

The lockout was a silver lining for Horton because hes had that much more time to recover, said Peter Chiarelli. Now weve had enough rest, so were no longer fatigued from a Stanley Cup win. I think it just speaks to motivation that these guys are in a short season, so anything can happen.

Its a sprint and lets get going. Its more that the longer theyve been out now, the more motivated they are going to be.

Its been quite the year for Horton. It started with a hellish concussion in January, but also included the birth of his second child over the summer that ostensibly kept him from potentially skating overseas like so many other NHL players. Now its a new year and Horton is again back on the ice, and hes looking for the happy hockey story this time around after working hard to get to this point.

NFL: 'No credible evidence' Manning used PEDs

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NFL: 'No credible evidence' Manning used PEDs

The NFL released a statement on Monday saying that after a seven-month investigation into allegations made in a documentary produced by Al-Jazeera America, it found "no credible evidence" that Peyton Manning used HGH or any other performance-enhancing drugs. 

In its documentary, released in December, Al-Jazeera used former British sprinter Liam Collins to go undercover to try to expose PED use by athletes. Collins spoke at length with a supplement salesman named Charlie Sly, who claimed he worked with Manning at the Guyer Institute, an anti-aging clinic in Indianapolis following Manning's 2011 neck surgery, and that the Guyer Institute sent HGH to Manning's wife, Ashley.

Manning, who retired about a month after his Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50,  vehemently denied the allegations. Meanwhile, Sly -- who was recorded by Collins without consent -- later recanted his claims.

The NFL did not release all the details of its investigation, but it explained in its statement that both Mannings were "fully cooperative" with the investigation. They agreed to interviews and provided access "to all records sought by investigators," the NFL said.

The league did say that its investigation was led by the NFL's security and legal teams with "support from expert consultants and other professionals." 

"The investigation involved witness interviews," the NFL said, "a review of relevant records and other materials, online research, and laboratory analysis and review."

Al-Jazeera's documentary implicated several other NFL players, including Steelers linebacker James Harrison, Packers linebackers Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers. The league said that its separate investigations into those claims are ongoing.

Patriots add DB Sunseri, OL Kerbyson in lead-up to training camp

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Patriots add DB Sunseri, OL Kerbyson in lead-up to training camp

The Patriots added a pair of free agents on Sunday, defensive back Vinnie Sunseri and offensive lineman Kyler Kerbyson, bringing their active roster to a total of 89 players in the days leading up to the start of training camp. 

The Saints selected Sunseri in the fifth round out of Alabama in 2014. He played in nine games as a rookie before suffering a season-ending broken arm. Last year, he did not see any time during the regular season due to a knee injury suffered during a preseason game. 

Sunseri, 5-foot-11, 210 pounds, was released by the Saints in April. Given his ties to Bill Belichick confidante Nick Saban, his special teams experience, and what's thought to be a high football IQ, Sunseri appears to check several boxes that the Patriots like to see out of depth pieces on their roster. Should safety Nate Ebner not be fully prepared to begin the season after competing in the Olympics, Sunseri could benefit by snagging that potential open roster spot. 

Kerbyson measures in at 6-4, 317 pounds and arrives to New England as an undrafted free agent from Tennessee. He's a lineman with some versatility as he started all 13 games for the Vols at left tackle in 2015, but he started games at both tackle spots and left guard as a junior. 

The Patriots had a handful of offensive linemen who were not able to participate in spring practices as they recovered from injuries -- including tackles Sebastian Vollmer and Nate Solder and guards Josh Kline and Tre' Jackson -- and Kerbyson could provide some measure of depth up front should any of those players need to miss training camp time.