The Texans released an unofficial depth chart today, and rookie C.J. Stroud is listed as the starter at quarterback for Thursday night.
Picked second overall in this year's NFL Draft, Stroud is the projected starter against the Patriots, with Davis Mills and Case Keenum serving as reserves.
Head Coach DeMeco Ryans has been quick to praise all three signal-callers, and recently explained what Stroud's done well through the early part of training camp.
"He's getting the ball out quick, he's making the proper reads and that's the first thing," Ryans said. "We want him to just make the proper reads and if one is open, deliver the ball."
Stroud and the Texans practiced Monday morning after getting Sunday off. They'll practice again tomorrow morning at the Houston Methodist Training Center and will fly to New England Wednesday afternoon. The Texans and Patriots kick off their preseason schedule with a game Thursday evening at 6 p.m.
Stroud has relished the competition with Mills and Keenum, and has been very complimentary of each.
"I don't want anything given to me," Stroud said last week. "I want to earn everything, and Davis is a great quarterback, so is Case, and honestly we're not even focused on that. We're just focused on getting better and better and better."
Offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik has been impressed with Stroud's command of the playbook, and the ways in which he adjusts in-practice.
"He has a great feel for what's happening around him, and it doesn't take all the way until the film room to be able to talk about it and know how to handle it," Slowik said. "He has an idea before we see the tape. Typically, with him, the tape is just verifying what he already knows."
The depth chart is subject to change, and will be updated throughout the rest of the preseason and into the regular season.