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David Duprey, Associated Press
Buffalo Bills' Shawne Merriman, right, runs a drill with Chris Kelsay, left, during NFL football training camp in Pittsford, N.Y., Saturday, July 30, 2011.

PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Five days into Buffalo Bills training camp in suburban Rochester, linebacker Shawne Merriman is starting to feel like his old self again.

Lights out?

"Almost," Merriman says with a wink upon mention of the "Lights Out" nickname he picked up early in his career when he was regarded as one of the NFL's fiercest hitters.

That's good news for Merriman, who had been slowed by a series of injuries and distracted by contract squabbles and off-the-field questions for much of the past three years. And it's significant news for the Bills, who last November took a gamble by claiming the three-time Pro Bowl selection after he had been waived by San Diego.

Merriman says he's the healthiest he's been in years.