Missouri quarterback James Franklin could be back playing this Saturday when the Tigers take on Kentucky, head coach Gary Pinkel said on Sunday.
“I think he’s going to be very close next week,” Pinkel said. “We think it’s very possible he’ll be ready.”
Franklin, a senior, injured his shoulder early in the fourth quarter against Georgia back in mid-October. He has missed three starts since then. Freshman Maty Mauk relieved him against the Bulldogs and helped finish off a 41-26 victory for the Tigers. Since then, Mauk has steadily improved and is coming off his best game in a 31-3 beat down of Tennessee. Mauk threw for 163 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 114 yards against the Volunteers.
It’s no wonder he came through with such a big performance — the Missouri coaches were using the threat of Franklin’s return as a motivation for Mauk to step up his game.
They say if you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have a quarterback, but that’s not the case for Missouri right now. Whether they start Franklin or Mauk, the Tigers should be in good shape as they start the stretch run to capture the SEC East title.