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Gary Pinkel: Maty Mauk apologized to the team. "He’s really excited to be back."

Here are today's Mizzou Links.

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Mizzou Tigers pennant More Maty

Post-Dispatch: Pinkel confirms Mauk's return but little else
Post-Dispatch: Mauk rejoins Tigers but role remains uncertain

Mizzou suspended Mauk on Sept. 29 for breaking undisclosed team rules. Pinkel declined to address several questions related to the junior quarterback and his suspension, saying only that Mauk asked to address the team on Wednesday.

"Which I thought was great," he said. "He came up to me today and said he wanted to talk to the team and apologize to the team. ... He’s really excited to be back."

The Trib: Pinkel confirms Mauk's return, little else
The Trib (David Morrison): Gary Pinkel on the SEC Teleconference: Open Week

On the QB situation, and Mauk's status...

"Maty is back with the team. Welcomed with open arms, like anybody that goes through suspension. That's what we do here. They're part of the family. Welcomed him back. Practiced Tuesday. Won't discuss practice details or depth chart. Playing time decisions won't be made until next week."

On Mauk returning as an incumbent, but replaced, starter being a unique situation...

"It's just a consistency of how we do things. There's a plan in place, if anything happens, what we do and how we handle it. We always do what the right thing is. A lot of people probably wouldn't have done what we did, but we do what's right. That's the way I've always made every decision I've ever had here."

It's weird being in a situation where we have heard tons of rumors but still don't officially know why he was suspended. It removes context and affects both how we view things like "apologize to the team" and how much empathy we show to "excited to be back." Of course, we also aren't entitled to know anything more than we do...

Assuming Mauk is fully caught up by next Thursday -- which is obviously not guaranteed -- I'm really curious how the playing time is divvied out, and I honestly have no idea what I would prefer. A one-series-each rotation could serve to throw Mississippi State off its attacking rhythm and add an element of misdirection to the mix. But then again, when I start thinking about this too much, I remember that intentions go by the wayside if your line still can't block. Mauk or Lock, the line is still the biggest concern.

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