It seems to be a cruel tease, but All-Conference receiver Austin Hill was listed as out for Friday's NAU game but not the rest of the season as the Arizona Wildcats released a Wednesday injury report. He joined fellow receiver David Richards, Cody Ippolito and offensive lineman Beau Boyster on the list of players who would miss the season opener.
Ippolito and Boyster have already been ruled out for the year.
For some, that could mean the detail of their injuries could mean Hill is on the quick path to recovering from an ACL tear. But that seems like a wild jump since he was first reported to be injured during the spring scrimmage. If the long list of Wildcats who missed the 2011 season because of ACL tears would lend evidence toward something, then it would be that it's nearly impossible to recover in less than eight months -- and that's recovering enough simply to return to athletic action.
Richards' foot injury should be a more important point of emphasis considering the lack of depth at receiver. He caught 29 balls for 298 yards and three touchdowns as a freshman last year and if he heals up could become one of the more prominent wideout options for Arizona.
Ippolito was reportedly challenging for a backup role but was injured not long ago, and his knee injury therefore becomes a bigger deal than most would have suspected.
But in a bit of good news pointed out by Tracy McDannald of GoAZCats.com, defensive end Dan Pettinato was not on the Week 1 injury report. The leading tackler on the D-line last season was not listed on the depth chart released a few days ago, but he's apparently coming back faster than expected.