At least that's what he told reporters at the league meetings in Arizona on Monday night, when he met with Lions beat writers on scene. Quinn told reporters he believes Peterson can still play, but wouldn't say whether or not the Lions are interested in him.
The 32-year-old Peterson had 37 carries for 72 yards last season, an average of 1.9 yards per attempt. Before suffering a right lateral meniscus tear in September, Peterson was averaging 1.6 yards per carry and boosted the average in a brief appearance in December, when he rushed six times for 22 yards against Indianapolis.
It was the least productive season of Peterson's career -- and that includes the 2014 season when he played in only one game, rushing for 75 yards. In four separate seasons of his career, Peterson has had a single rush longer than the entirety of his production last season.
The Lions, though, have been one of the teams mentioned as a possible fit for Peterson. This is likely because Detroit had the No. 30 running game in the NFL last season and its top two backs, Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick, are coming of season-ending surgeries.
Due to his own injuries, his age, his potential salary and how he would fit into a young Lions backfield, it's not clear how Peterson would fit into the Lions plans. But Quinn didn't completely shoot that down in his first comments since the NFL combine and the Lions are likely to add a running back either in the draft or later on in free agency.
Peterson is No. 16 all-time in rushing yards with 11,747 and is 566 yards away from moving into 10th place all-time, which would pass Hall of Famer Jim Brown. Every running back ahead of him other than Edgerrin James and the still-active Frank Gore are in the Hall of Fame.
As far as other running backs go, Quinn told reporters in Arizona that he did not sit down with Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon before his pro day, but running backs coach David Walker did.