Bill Belichick: QB Matt Flynn close to being ready for practice

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- One question a colleague asked during the opening stretch of New England Patriots training camp was whether there should be any concern with No. 3 quarterback Matt Flynn opening on the active/non-football injury list. That leaves Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo as the lone quarterbacks in practice.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick provided some clarity on Flynn's status during an interview on Sirius XM NFL Radio's "Movin' the Chains" program Monday.

“Hopefully we’ll get [him] back out there soon. I think he’s pretty close to returning," Belichick said of Flynn. "We’ll just take it day by day, but I don’t think it’s ... a long-term thing.”

Flynn has been taking "mental reps" as he's watched practices from the field, with Brady and Garoppolo splitting reps about 50-50. At times, the Patriots have had director of player personnel Nick Caserio, a scout or Robert Kraft's grandson Harry throwing in individual-type drills that require a quarterback.

Belichick has been pleased with the way it's unfolded for Brady and Garoppolo in terms of reps.

"I think they feel like they're getting good work once they get warmed up out there and get ready to go," Belichick told co-hosts Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan. "Once you're warmed up and ready to go, you might as well throw not until it drops, but get in the reps you need."

Belichick also shared some thoughts on running back James White and some of the team's rookies (audio clip here), noting that fourth-round pick Shaq Mason (guard, Georgia Tech) is further ahead than most rookies as a run-blocker but has ground to make up as a pass-blocker.