Things are about to get pretty awkward in Denver — if they aren’t already.

By way of Saturday night’s home loss to the Cleveland Browns, the Broncos have been eliminated from playoff contention. Head coach Vance Joseph’s job probably is in jeopardy, considering team president John Elway reportedly tried to move on from Joseph prior to this season.

Longtime Denver media personality Woody Paige reported Monday morning that Elway met with former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan and had serious discussions about Shanahan returning to the Denver sideline for 2018. The reunion reportedly was “so close” to happening, but Paige reported Broncos CEO Joe Ellis stepped in and shot down the notion of firing Joseph or hiring Shanahan.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport confirmed Paige’s report Monday morning.

Shanahan, 62, hasn’t coached in the NFL since going 3-13 with the Washington Redskins in 2013. And as mentioned by Rapoport, Shanahan has just one playoff win since winning the Super Bowl in 1999 — when he had Elway as his quarterback in Denver.

All of this can’t make Joseph feel confident about his job security. His boss reportedly tried to replace him before the season, and it’s not like Denver has lit the world on fire this season, with Saturday’s loss dropping the Broncos to 6-8. At least that’s marked improvement from last season’s 5-11 showing.

If and when the Broncos cut ties with Joseph, it will be fascinating to see whether they circle back and give Shanahan another look.

Thumbnail photo via Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports Images