TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — University of Alabama coach Nick Saban announced on Monday that the reason sophomore running back Altee Tenpenny didn’t dress for the Mississippi State game was that he had been late for a meeting.

“I just told him to pick his stuff up and we’d talk to him later,” Saban said. “So the guy was late for the meeting. It’s not important enough for him to be at the meeting, it’s not important enough for me to dress him for the game.”

His absence left Alabama shorthanded in the backfield as Kenyan Drake is out for the season after sustaining a fractured leg against Ole Miss, and junior running back T.J. Yeldon (ankle/foot) was considered a game-time decision for the No. 1 Bulldogs.

Yeldon started and redshirt freshman Tyren Jones was Alabama’s third running back behind sophomore Derrick Henry. Senior fullback Jalston Fowler was also a candidate to take some handoffs.

“He’s a very instinctive runner,” Saban said about Jones. “Certainly we need for somebody to be able to help us at running back because of some of the injuries that we have and provide some added depth for us, and hopefully guys that can fulfill some roles for us down the road here. So there’s some opportunity and so far Tyren has done a good job of improving and taking advantage of that.”

Saban didn’t disclose if Tenpenny will be available for this week’s game against Western Carolina (4 p.m. ET, SEC Network). He’s played in eight games this season, mostly on special teams, and has 15 carries for 72 rushing yards.