So much of the optimism surrounding Arizona football in 2022 centers around what should be a much-improved passing game.

Jacob Cowing transferred in from UTEP after leading the team in receiving each of the last three seasons. A freshman class that ranked among the 25 best in the country brought wideout Tetairoa McMillan and tight end Keyan Burnett to Tucson. And Jayden de Laura brought his Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year with him to quarterback the Wildcat attack.

If the team improves, de Laura and Cowing will be key reasons why.

So news out of fall camp that both missed practice on Wednesday comes with a bit of concern. Cowing sat out a third straight practice for an undisclosed reason, according to The Arizona Daily Star’s Michael Lev. As for de Laura, he was absent altogether with no reasoning given.

The third-year quarterback just spoke with the media on Tuesday (which you can view here) and there didn’t appear to be anything wrong. After an uneven start to fall camp, de Laura had really been finding a groove over the last few practices. If he’s forced to miss any time this close to the season, it puts Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch and his staff in an interesting spot.

According to multiple reports, true freshman Noah Fifita took the first-team reps in de Laura’s absence. Fifita enrolled early and went through spring ball earlier this year, where he wowed coaches with his playmaking ability. But would the Wildcats be comfortable opening the season on the road with a true freshman starter?

We’re still about two weeks away from the Sept. 3 opener against San Diego State, and it’s best not to speculate much until de Laura’s situation is a little clearer, but this is definitely a situation to monitor. Could be nothing. Could be something.