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With Maty Mauk back, Missouri is more talented and uncertain moving forward

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Here are today's Mizzou Links.

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Mizzou athletes + kids = good feelings.

Mizzou Tigers pennant Hey, Maty

The Trib: Maty Mauk reinstated after monthlong suspension

"It’s a very difficult time, there’s no doubt about that," said Mauk’s father, Mike, who is the head football coach at Glendale High School in Springfield. "But he’s been doing as much as he can to keep himself ready and in shape and controlling the things he can control and not worrying about the things he can’t control."

Mike, who is in the midst of treatment for colorectal cancer, would not confirm whether his son has been reinstated, saying he would defer to Missouri’s coaching staff as far as what information it would like to have released. He said Mauk has been in contact with the coaches during the suspension.

Post-Dispatch: Mizzou's Mauk cleared to rejoin team

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel has declined to comment on Mauk’s status the last several weeks. Pinkel did not hold his weekly news conference on Monday while MU is on its bye week. He’s expected to address Mauk’s situation on Wednesday’s SEC coaches teleconference.

Mauk completed 51.8 percent of his passes for 654 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions through MU’s first four games. In his four starts, Lock has thrown for 538 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions while completing 48.8 percent of his throws.

PowerMizzou: Mauk Reinstated

One of the major questions will be where Mauk is listed on the depth chart upon his return. Will he reassume his starting position or be listed behind Lock and perhaps co-backups Eddie Printz and Marvin Zanders? The next depth chart will not be released until Pinkel meets with the media on Sunday afternoon.

I've been struggling to come up with anything useful to say about Mauk's reinstatement. Though in his absence, we began to assume "He'll never play for Mizzou again" scenarios, in the end, it was about a month, as originally suspected. Despite Drew Lock's struggles, I think a lot of us were perfectly fine riding with the freshman from here on out, and now we've got an awkward arrangement to think about -- does Mauk ride out the string as a backup? Do the two quarterbacks split series now? Does Mauk actually have a chance to start again? Do we ever get any sort of confirmation regarding why he was out in the first place (not that we deserve it, but it's certainly just kind of hanging in the air)? And ... what happens this coming spring?

In theory, Mauk's addition makes Missouri a little bit better, simply because he's pretty talented, and Mizzou could use as much talent as possible on the offensive side of the ball. But we now have a lot more questions to figure out.

Really, about the only thing I'm sure of right now is that I couldn't possibly disagree more with this take:

Getting suspended for a month -- one full third of the season -- brings to the table serious questions about your leadership ability, and a starting quarterback needs to be able to lead his team. Sure, you could get reinstated and go back to starting, but ... "no player should lose [his] starting job" is a baffling statement to make. Getting reinstated means you've earned the right to be on the roster again. But you haven't been with the team for a month. You haven't practiced. You haven't been in the QBs room trying to figure out how this offense is going to get better. Lock has. Lock is, for this moment at least, ahead of Mauk, and Mauk has to earn back his spot on the field.

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