Rex Ryan surely could use a savvy veteran quarterback with playoff and Pro Bowl experience to help navigate through a watershed moment of the most critical season of his coaching career.
Wait. He already has one.

So, why has David Garrard always been an afterthought?
Ryan & Co. have inexplicably quarantined the Jets’ most experienced quarterback at a time when experience is in short supply. Geno Smith’s recent struggles have prompted questions about whether the Jets (5-6), still alive for a playoff spot, should make a short-term change at the game’s most pivotal position.

On paper, Garrard makes perfect sense: He has won in big moments throughout his career.

However, he’s apparently not even a consideration, slotted behind Smith and Matt Simms, who has two quarters of mop-up experience on his NFL resume, on the depth chart.

General manager John Idzik and Ryan welcomed Garrard back last month after his five-month retirement because he would not only be a terrific mentor for Smith, but could still actually produce on the field in an emergency.

Smith acknowledged this week that the 35-year-old Garrard has been an invaluable member of his “support system,” but the Jets’ decision-makers wouldn’t have used a roster spot on the veteran if they didn’t believe he could, you know, play at an NFL level anymore . . . would they?

“I definitely can play,” Garrard told the Daily News. “I wouldn’t be here if I couldn’t play. . . . I would have just come back as a coach.”