HOUSTON (KIAH) — The Houston Texans are preparing for their first pre-season game coming up on Thursday when they’ll take on the New England Patriots up in Foxboro, Mass.

The Texans have said that their first-round draft pick and the No. 2 overall pick, C.J. Stroud, will get the start at quarterback for Thursday’s game.

The rookie is getting the start over Davis Mills, who started most of the games last season in which the Texans went 3-13-1.

It will also be the debut of the Texans’ new head coach, Demeco Ryans.

Ryans said after Monday’s practice that he knows Stroud will be nervous playing in his first NFL game, but he hopes that he can remain calm in the huddle with his teammates.

“In this game, I just want to see a guy come out and command the huddle,” Ryans said. “Command the huddle, command the offense. Get us lined up, get everybody on the same page and just operate efficiently.”

But Houston did suffer a big injury at practice on Monday, when starting left tackle Tytus Howard injured his hand and “will probably be out for a while,” Ryans said.

As for the rest of the starters, Ryans wants to see which of his players can stand out and make an impression in the first preseason game of the season.

“Some guys rise to the occasion when the lights come on, and some guys unfortunately don’t. So, it’ll be really good, really interesting to see who continues to shine and make plays in that competitive match against the Patriots,” Ryans said.

“So, I’m really looking forward to it to see which young guy is going to step up and make plays for us.”

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Central time Thursday night. The game will be broadcast locally on ABC13 and nationally on NFL Network.