A decision on Peterson's appeal of his six-game suspension for violation of the personal conduct policy is expected this week from the NFL's hearing officer, Harold Henderson.
Although it is possible Henderson rules in favor of Peterson and reinstates him from the commissioner exempt list, there is little belief he will play again this year, the source said.
If the suspension stands, Peterson will still have a minimum of six games to serve, which would roll into the 2015 season, a league source confirmed. In that scenario, barring a settlement, Peterson would sit out the final three games without pay this season along with and three more games in 2015 without pay.
On the exempt list during the appeal, Peterson has continued to get his full pay of $9 million of his $11.75 million salary.
Peterson has not played since Week 1 after he was charged with child abuse in Texas. He pleaded no contest Nov. 4 to misdemeanor reckless assault for injuring his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch.