Cam Newton doesn't like being compared to Colin Kaepernick.

"Two different players," Newton said.

Yet the Carolina Panthers' third-year quarterback certainly understands the parallels with his 49ers counterpart. They both entered the NFL in 2011. They're both big, strong-armed guys who can shred a secondary with their arms and terrorize a front seven with their feet.

"Being a big guy, being fast and being agile and having the art of throwing like only God has blessed a few people with -- and Kaepernick has it (too)," Newton said.

Newton and Kaepernick go head-to-head Sunday with a trip to the NFC Championship game on the line.

After a 1-3 start this season, the Panthers have turned things around, winning 11 of their last 12 games to capture the NFC South and a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Newton threw a career-high 24 touchdown passes and was selected to the Pro Bowl ahead of Kaepernick.

"I'm not preparing for Colin Kaepernick," Newton said. "What he does on Sunday will not make any difference to me -- other than if he does score, I will have to respond. And if I score, he will have to respond."

Colts: Safety LaRon Landry was a full participant at practice, and coaches are hopeful he will play in Saturday night's playoff game at New England. Landry left last weekend's game with a concussion.

Indianapolis will be without starting cornerback Greg Toler, who aggravated a groin injury in the Colts' 45-44 victory over Kansas City and was put on season-ending injured reserve earlier this week.

Chargers: The team confirmed that center Nick Hardwick sustained a concussion as well as a stinger Sunday in the team's playoff victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. It's not known whether Hardwick will be able to play Sunday in the divisional round game at Denver.

Browns: New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has removed himself from consideration for Cleveland's head-coaching vacancy, according to media reports.

The Browns interviewed Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo on Wednesday, a source said.

Titans: Tennessee confirmed it had interviewed Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell in its search for a new head coach. Caldwell also has interviewed with the Washington Redskins and the Detroit Lions.

Redskins: Jay Gruden completed his interview for Washington's coaching job, making the Bengals offensive coordinator the sixth known candidate to meet with general manager Bruce Allen. Vanderbilt coach James Franklin is expected to be the next candidate to interview for the vacancy.

Seahawks: A $50,000 fine to Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch has been put on hold as long as he continues to comply with league policy on being available to the media. Lynch appealed the fine, but it was not overturned according to a league spokesman.

Lynch had declined all requests for interviews this season and had not spoken to the media until last Friday, when he talked for less than 90 seconds.