Chennai chief executive Kasi Viswanathan says Dhoni remains key to the team's plans and they expect him to keep playing till the 2022 edition.
The team has been under scrutiny after arriving in the UAE last month with two players testing positive for the coronavirus.
Senior batsman Suresh Raina and veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh later opted out of the competition.
"I swear if Dhoni pulls out of IPL, there's no IPL for me this year!" a Twitter user wrote after the withdrawals.
Cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra said Dhoni is "the biggest strength of the team and the entire franchise is dependent on him".
"He is the soul of Chennai Super Kings. As long as he is there, CSK's heart keeps beating and they move forward. MS Dhoni, the player and the captain, has a great impact," Chopra said on his YouTube show.
"Dhoni is going to rule the roost once again as a captain, as a batsman."
Chennai and Dhoni were plunged into controversy in 2015, when the team were banned from the IPL for two years for match-fixing.
But Dhoni and his team - which includes many players aged over 35, including Australia's Shane Watson and South African Imran Tahir - came back with a bang.
Labelled 'Dad's Army' by the media, Chennai returned to lift the title in 2018 and establish themselves as one of the most consistent teams in IPL history.
"Dhoni is Chennai, Chennai is Dhoni. If Dhoni is doing well. Chennai is doing well," veteran commentator Harsha Bhogle said on Cricbuzz.com.