The first Bears preseason game did little to clear up any problems -- it was so ugly it may have done more harm than good. Real battles rage at backup running back, fourth tight end and fullback, the last wide receiver spot, the final guard, and at cornerback. The team may need to decide whether to keep a fullback (Tyler Clutts), a fourth tight end (Evan Rodriguez or Kyle Adams), or a fourth running back (Armando Allen). Special teams, as always, will go a long way toward deciding many spots, especially the final wide receiver position battle between Dane Sanzenbacher and Rashied Davis. Each week during preseason, RapidReports will take a position-by-position look at the players we think are likely to make the final cut to 53 on Sept. 2 and those who we think may soon be seeking alternative employment.
Stock rising: DT Nate Collins, WR Dane Sanzenbacher, DE Corey Wootton.
Stock falling: CB Jonathan Wilhite, DE Chauncey Davis, G Chilo Rachal.
Notable numbers: They've usually kept six linebackers on the active roster but Brian Urlacher's knee situation may force them to keep more. Also, they've always kept a fullback but would like to save the roster spot by having a tight end who does the same thing. They may have that in Kyle Adams.
QB -- In (3): Jay Cutler, Jason Campbell, Josh McCown. Out: Matt Blanchard. Analysis: The top three provide depth and experience. Blanchard, the rookie from a small Wisconsin school (Wisconsin-Whitewater), will have to prove he's even a practice squad-worthy player in this week's preseason game and maybe the fourth game because McCown can run scout team just as easily as a fourth-stringer could.
RB -- In (4): Matt Forte, Michael Bush, Kahlil Bell, Armando Allen. Out: Harvey Unga, Lorenzo Booker. Analysis: It would be hard to see them parting with Bell at this point because he has proven himself on special teams over the last year and is a versatile threat, like the first two backs. Armando Allen's receiving game ability is too good to ignore. Lorenzo Booker and Harvey Unga look like the odd men out. Booker is a decent return man, but the Bears have two or three better on the roster already. Unga is a fullback and short-yardage ball carrier and the Bears have no use for either.
FB -- In (0). Out: Tyler Clutts. Analysis: At this point, it looks like they can use the third or fourth tight end as a fullback and save a roster spot. Giving up Clutts is not a good idea, however. They lose the hammer back to block in short yardage. It's still questionable whether any of the tight ends can do that. So at some point in the next two games it's possible this all could change.
TE -- In (4): Matt Spaeth, Kellen Davis, Kyle Adams, Evan Rodriguez. Out: Brandon Venson. Analysis: They're very unlikely to dump Rodriguez because of his high ceiling and draft status, and Adams is showing every day he has all-around skills, including blocking ability. No one even knows Venson is in camp.
WR -- In (6): Brandon Marshall, Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, Alshon Jeffery, Eric Weems, Dane Sanzenbacher. Out: Rashied Davis, Brittan Golden. Davis was brought back as a special teams stop-gap after Devin Thomas retired, but Sanzenbacher so far is showing some ability to play special teams -- which he hadn't previously done. And there may be others to count on besides the sixth receiver for special teams. Golden is an intriguing undrafted free agent and an ideal practice squad player with great speed and decent hands.
OL -- In (8): Roberto Garza, Chris Williams, J'Marcus Webb, Gabe Carimi, Chris Spencer, Lance Louis, Edwin Williams, Chilo Rachal. Out: Ricky Henry, James Brown, Cory Brandon. Analysis: The coaches really like Henry and have kept him around, so it's posssible he could beat out Rachal, who has been plagued by minor injuries. Brown might be an ideal developmental player on practice squad as he shows good hands and quick feet. The offensive line has its problems at left tackle with neither J'Marcus Webb nor Chris Williams stepping forth, but one thing they do have is versatility. Edwin Williams and Spencer are center/guards, Louis a T/G. It's a line built to withstand injury but the question is whether they can withstand the opposition.
DL -- In (8): Julius Peppers, Shea McClellin, Israel Idonije, Corey Wootton, Stephen Paea, Henry Melton, Matt Toeaina, Brian Price. Out: Nate Collins, John McCargo, Chauncey Davis, Cheta Ozougwu. Analysis: Although Price hasn't shown much, they're willing to wait until he gets into better shape and continues to get past the personal problems he had in Tampa. For that reason, they may also keep Collins, who would not be eligible immediately due to a violation of the league's substance abuse policy. Davis has been around since last season and hasn't been poor, but still lacks the big-play ability they need from a backup at end.
LB -- In (7): Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Nick Roach, Geno Hayes, Blake Costanzo, J.T. Thomas, Dom DeCicco. Out: Patrick Trahan, Jabara Williams. Analysis: Often in the past they've kept only six LBs, but the seventh may be necessary due to Urlacher's iffy knee situation. DeCicco has a bad groin strain and it will be a while until he's ready to play again. It's possible he could be an IR candidate, but the Urlacher knee situation may give him new life.
DB -- In (10): Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings, Kelvin Hayden, D.J. Moore, Jonathan Wilhite, Chris Conte, Major Wright, Brandon Hardin, Craig Steltz, Anthony Walters. Out: Greg McCoy, Isaiah Frey. Analysis: The need for a fifth safety makes it tough to keep either one of the rookie cornerbacks. But Wilhite hasn't exactly stood out in scrimmages and may be fighting for his spot on the roster with Frey or McCoy, who both seem to have special teams skill. Frey looks a little more polished defensively than McCoy, who would be good candidate for the practice squad.
Special teams -- In (3): Robbie Gould, Adam Podlesh, Patrick Mannelly. Out: Ryan Quigley. Mannelly has come back fine from a severe knee injury. Both Gould and Podlesh have had strong legs throughout camp and there hasn't been a need for Quigley, who can both punt and kick. Quigley could eventually catch on elsewhere. He needs more punting consistency.
Follow Bears reporter Gene Chamberlain on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLCHI.