Bears-Titans Primer: Storylines To Watch

(670 The Score) With the conclusion of the preseason coming Thursday night, the Bears have already begun looking ahead.
Preparation for the Packers is well underway at Halas Hall, where the Bears have been implementing their game plan into practice. Meanwhile, the team is also readying its reserve units for the exhibition finale against the Titans.

The Bears have the majority of their roster set by now, but there are still a few final roster spots to be claimed. The final preseason game marks the last chance for some to make an impression.

Here's what to watch for.

Running roles

With no fullback on the Bears' roster, keeping a fourth running back is a realistic possibility.

Rookie Kerrith Whyte Jr. and second-year back Ryan Nall are in a battle to potentially land a spot on the 53-man roster. They have different strengths, with Whyte boasting speed and Nall offering power.

"I like that, though," Nagy said of the differences. "What it does is it challenges us as a coaching staff (with) what are you looking for?"

In addition to their performance on offense, Whyte and Nall be evaluated Thursday by their play in special teams.

Tight battle

The Bears' tight end position isn't solidified with the regular season just a week away. 

Trey Burton is still working his way back from offseason surgery to repair a sports hernia and could potentially have a lighter workload in the regular-season opener. Adam Shaheen hasn't proved that he's capable of handling a major role in the offense. Ben Braunecker is a depth piece. What else do the Bears have?

That's something general manager Ryan Pace and his front office over the next few days before roster cuts are due Saturday at 3 p.m. Converted tackle Bradley Sowell will get another chance to show what he can do, as will undrafted rookies Jesper Horsted, Ian Bunting and Dax Raymond. 

Without any tight end standing out behind the starters, the Bears could be monitoring the waiver wires closely this weekend.

Bears behind Bars

As the Bears encountered injuries at offensive tackle, they were forced to adjust. That has led to Alex Bars, an undrafted rookie guard out of Notre Dame, now seeing reps at tackle.

Bars and veteran offensive lineman Cornelius Lucas are competing for places on the 53-man roster, and their performance at tackle could be the deciding fact after T.J. Clemmings suffered a season-ending quad injury.

Bars may have the edge over Lucas, who has struggled during the preseason. Bears offensive line coach Harry Hiestand recruited Bars to Notre Dame and developed him as his position coach.

With the Bears backing Bars, he has an opportunity to prove himself at a key position.

Cornering a concern

The Bears have depth questions at another key position -- cornerback. Behind starters Kyle Fuller, Prince Amukamara and Buster Skrine, there are no locks on the depth chart.

In his second season out of LSU, Kevin Toliver was the first man off the bench last season when Amukamara was forced to miss a game in late September. He presumably is the fourth cornerback in the mix after Sherrick McManis was moved to safety in the offseason.

Rookies Duke Shelley and Clifton Duck are aiming to make a lasting preseason impression when they take the field Thursday.

Meanwhile, seventh-round draft pick Stephen Denmark has missed most of the preseason with an ankle injury.

"He's another developmental guy," Nagy said. "So, being able to see him would be great."

Eddy's last shot

The preseason finale will offers Pineiro his final showcase before the Bears make a decision in a long competition, choosing between the lone kicker on their roster and potential candidates available after cuts around the league this weekend.

Pineiro has hit 5-of-6 field-goal attempts this preseason, including a 58-yarder against the Colts last Saturday. 

"Hopefully there's a good story behind all of this," Nagy said. "For all of us, how cool would it be for it to work out?"

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.