Heading into the preseason finale Thursday against the Chiefs, the Packers still have unanswered questions of varying degrees of importance at almost every position.

Who will be the backup quarterback? Will last year’s leading rusher, James Starks, be on the 53-man roster this season? Is Green Bay going to keep six wide receivers and, if so, who will be number six? Does the team need to go out and acquire a veteran offensive tackle because there is such weak depth on the backup line? And on defense, who is going to start at right cornerback and strong safety in the nickel package?

The Packers hope to find answers – or at least gain better clarity – to those questions and more against Kansas City. After releasing seven players, placing six on injured reserve and two on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, the Packers must get their 75-man roster down to 53 by Friday evening. They didn’t make any truly difficult decisions on the first cut-down, but after Thursday’s game, general manager Ted Thompson and the personnel staff will have some tough choices to make on the myriad young players and also some unproven veterans.

Throughout training camp, RapidReports will provide updated analyses and predictions on which players will be on the Packers’ final 53-man roster.

Stock rising: DT Daniel Muir. The loud and energetic free agent signee is a voracious presence on the defensive line, adding passion, intensity and flashes of pass-rushing ability to the unit. On Monday, coach Mike McCarthy said Muir has had a very good camp. “What you always appreciate about Daniel is his energy level and what he brings to the table every single day,” McCarthy said. “He works extremely hard … he’s got a lot of juice.” His stock is also up after the recent release of fellow defensive linemen Anthony Hargrove and Jarius Wynn, possibly inching Muir closer to a roster spot.

Stock falling: RB James Starks. Sidelined the past three weeks with turf toe, Starks is no lock to make this team. A postseason hero in 2010 and the Packers’ leading rusher last season with 578 yards, Starks entered training camp as the starter but has been a disappointment. Veteran Cedric Benson has passed him as the presumptive starter, and second-year back Alex Green is only going to improve as he returns from reconstructive knee surgery. If the oft-injured Starks isn’t going to be healthy for a significant period of time to start the season, the Packers will have to decide whether he’s worth waiting around for again.

QB -- In (2): Aaron Rodgers, Graham Harrell. Out: B.J. Coleman. Analysis: This is a change from last week, when we had Harrell out. The embattled backup hasn’t really done anything to prove he deserves to stick around – and on Monday he was even intercepted by Rodgers, who was playing on the scout team – but the organization’s continued defense of Harrell just seems more convincing. Perhaps the logic is this: If Rodgers gets seriously injured, it doesn’t matter if it’s Harrell or another veteran backup, the season is over. At the very least, Harrell knows the offense. Coleman is a strong-armed practice-squad candidate.

RB -- In (4): Cedric Benson, Alex Green, Brandon Saine, John Kuhn. Out: James Starks, Marc Tyler, Nicholas Cooper. Analysis: The guess here is that Starks has run out of time. On Tuesday, McCarthy said Starks, out indefinitely with turf toe, was “coming along slowly” and “hasn’t made a whole lot of progress.” Given the limited role of the running backs in Green Bay’s offense, the Packers are probably content with Benson and Green getting the bulk of the snaps. Saine is versatile and smart. Tyler is a workhorse and could be on the practice squad.

WR -- In (6): Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Donald Driver, Randall Cobb, Tori Gurley. Out: Diondre Borel, Jarrett Boykin, Dale Moss, Curenski Gilleylen. Analysis: The top five aren’t going anywhere. Some rumors have Jones being traded, but the Packers know the value of their talented receiver depth. Gurley (6-foot-4, 232 pounds) gets the edge over Borel (6-0, 19) because of his size and special teams potential, especially as a punt blocker and wedge blocker. Borel will be scooped up by another team. If Green Bay can get Boykin or Moss to their practice squad, that would be gravy.

TE -- In (4): Jermichael Finley, Tom Crabtree, D.J. Williams, Ryan Taylor. Out: Brandon Bostick. Analysis: This group is set. Finley is the talented starter, Crabtree the valuable blocker, Williams another receiving weapon, and Taylor the special teams ace. Williams has had a terrific camp catching the ball, prompting questions about an increase role for him in the offense. But the brash Finley told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, “Not taking nothing away from D.J., but camp is camp.” Finley then proceeded to drop an easy, short pass on the first play of team drills at Monday’s practice.

OL -- In (9): Marshall Newhouse, T.J. Lang, Jeff Saturday, Josh Sitton, Bryan Bulaga, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Reggie Wells, Andrew Datko, someone else. Out: Derek Sherrod, Herb Taylor, Shea Allard, Don Barclay, Tommie Draheim, Sampson Genus, Greg Van Roten. Analysis: The starting five are locked in and solid. After that, it’s a mess. Dietrich-Smith is the only certain backup, given his ability to play all three interior line positions. The veteran Wells will come around and be reliable at guard, while the rookie Datko keeps improving. Sherrod, still coming back from a serious leg injury, wasn’t placed on the PUP list on Monday, but the guess is he will be by Friday. The Packers need to sign a free-agent tackle to help out.

DL -- In (6): B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett, Jerel Worthy, Mike Daniels, C.J. Wilson, Daniel Muir. Out: Mike Neal, Phillip Merling, Lawrence Guy. Analysis: No changes here. The first four are locks, Wilson is a reliable run-defender and Muir has earned a spot with his energy and effort. Neal is suspended the first four games and then will return. At that point, the Packers could swap him with Wilson or Muir or add him to the mix. Merling (6-5,315) and Guy (6-4, 300), two players with great size, have been unremarkable.

LB -- In (9): Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, A.J. Hawk, D.J. Smith, Rob Francois, Dezman Moses, Jamari Lattimore, Brad Jones, Terrell Manning. Out: Erik Walden, Vic So’oto. Analysis: The Packers trimmed this group on cut-down day, placing Desmond Bishop on IR and Frank Zombo on the PUP list. The first seven are probably set. Jones, Manning and So’oto are likely competing for two spots. And, really, it’s only one spot, since Walden is a lock to return to the 53-man roster when he comes back from his Week 1 suspension. The guess is, after the first week, the versatile Jones, who’s valuable on special teams, is still in Green Bay, while Manning and So’oto are gone.

DB -- In (10): Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Davon House, Jarrett Bush, Sam Shields, Casey Hayward, Morgan Burnett, M.D. Jennings, Jerron McMillian, Anthony Levine. Out: Otis Merrill, Brandian Ross, Sean Richardson. Analysis: The secondary is the murkiest position area left on the team, but it’s also the deepest – though arguably it’s deep with mediocre talent. After frontrunner House injured his shoulder, the competition for the right cornerback job has continued between Bush, Shields and Hayward. One of them needs to separate Thursday night. A similar battle persists at strong safety in the nickel package, where Jennings, McMillian and Levine are going at it. There are enough decent players to keep them all on the roster as options in the event there’s no clear-cut winner at either open spot.

Special teams -- In (3): Mason Crosby, Tim Masthay, Brett Goode. Out: No one. Analysis: As always, no changes here. These three are as sure a group of specialists as there are in the league.

Follow Packers reporter James Carlton on Twitter: @CBSSportsNFLGB and @jimmycarlton88