FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Coach Bill Belichick never has been one to tip his hand on anything, especially his plans leading into a game.

He was even more coy than usual in this short week as New England prepared to host the Houston Texans (2-0) on Thursday night in the aftermath of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo injuring his throwing shoulder in Sunday’s victory against Miami.

With Tom Brady still two weeks shy of the end of his Deflategate suspension, rookie Jacoby Brissett is the next healthy man in line for the Patriots (2-0). But two things complicate him possibly getting his first start.

First, Belichick has only started a rookie quarterback once – Eric Zeier during his final season as coach of the Cleveland Browns in 1995. Second, there’s the very real question whether Belichick feels comfortable enough throwing Brissett into his first NFL start opposite a defense that leads the league with nine sacks in two games.

Add to that Garoppolo hasn’t been completely ruled out after returning to practice on a limited basis Tuesday. He was listed as doubtful on the injury report Wednesday.

“Each week it seems like there’s always some position that you have to take into consideration what your depth is there,” Belichick said. “Obviously you take into consideration your opponent and how you want to try and play the game, what you want to try and do against them, and put it all together and do the best you can.”

Houston QB Brock Osweiler was under center last November in Denver when the Broncos overcame a 14-0 deficit for a 30-24 overtime victory to give New England its first loss last season.

Osweiler said Coach Bill O’Brien told him that game went a long way in O’Brien wanting to bring Osweiler to Houston, and he gained confidence from it.

“I definitely am looking at it as two different football games, but I went back, I looked at last year’s game, I looked at my notes from last year and I can use that as a tool moving forward,” Osweiler said.

Here are some other things to look for Thursday night:

TRAINER’S ROOM: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski began the week still limited by a hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for the first two games. He said after Tuesday’s practice that he felt “decent” and hopes to play. “Just trying to do everything I can right now to be as healthy as I can be,” he said. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower (knee), who sat out last week’s win, also was inching closer to getting back on the field with his return to practice this week. Both Gronkowski and Hightower were listed as questionable on the injury report.

GETTING DEFENSIVE: Whoever the Patriots put at quarterback, he will face a defense that ranks in the top 10 in seven categories. Houston’s defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown in six straight quarters.

WATT WARMING UP: Defensive end J.J. Watt, last year’s NFL Defensive Player of the Year, isn’t quite back to full form after July surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back. But after getting 1½ sacks and recovering a fumble last week, he knows he’s getting close.

“It’s just a continuous process of getting myself back and even better,” he said. “The goal is to be better than before. I don’t want to just be as good as I was before. I want to be better. It’s a process of making sure that I do everything I can to get there.”

Watt, who led the NFL with 17½ sacks last year, has 76 in his career.

FULLER’S FAST START: Houston receiver Will Fuller, the 21st overall pick in this year’s draft, needs one more 100-yard receiving game to become the first player to start his career with three straight.

Pro Bowl receiver DeAndre Hopkins also finished with more than 100 yards receiving last week to give the Texans two 100-yard receivers in the same game for the first time since 2013.